With the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcing that over 25,000 Americans will be diagnosed with Lyme Disease this year, its important that everyone knows what steps they can take to help protect themselves and their families and prevent Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease, which is transmitted to humans and pets through tick bites, is a bacterial infection that can have lasting effects on the joints, heart, and nervous system and has the potential to pose serious health complications. One of the best first line defenses against ticks and Lyme Disease is education. Make sure you and your family knows about ticks, where they like to hide, how to avoid getting tick bites, and what to do in the event that there is a tick bite.
Ticks have a tendency to hide in moist and humid environments, especially in wooded or grassy locations. Ticks can also be found hiding around the park, outside your house, and along nature trails. When possible, try to avoid walking through shrubs, leaf piles, and tall vegetation.
Wearing long sleeves and long pants that can be tucked into your socks can also help prevent tick bites, making it harder for the ticks to get to your skin. Experts also recommend using an insect repellent that contains DEET
on your skin and clothing and using products with permethrin to treat boots, clothing, and camping gear. (Always follow product use instructions while using these products!) Use veterinarian-prescribed tick collars or spot-on treatments to help protect your pets.
Make sure you know what ticks look like and perform daily tick checks on yourself, your children and your pets, especially after spending time outdoors. Remember ticks could be hiding in your own yard! Some areas to pay special attention to include: under the arms, in and around the ears, in the belly button, behind the knees, in any body hair, between the legs, and around the waist.
Quickly and properly remove any and all ticks that are found. Removing ticks within the first 24 hours significantly reduces the chances of getting Lyme Disease, although ticks may also transmit other diseases more quickly. Using the Tick Nipper
is the easiest and most effective way to remove ticks, although fine-tipped tweezers may also be used. Use caution to not pinch or squeeze the tick, which can cause the head to break off and remain trapped under the skin. Consult your healthcare provider at the first signs of a fever or rash, which may be a sign of a tick-borne disease.
Landscaping and regular lawn maintenance can also help keep ticks away from you and your family. Patios, play areas, swing sets, and work areas should be kept away from wooded areas, shrubs, and other vegetation. Lawns should be cut regularly and leaf/brush litter should be removed from the yard. Using gravel or woodchips can also help create a barrier to deter ticks from invading your yard and personal space. Don’t feed the deer, which can bring the ticks into your yard. If you’re still worried about ticks, a professional pest control expert can come apply a chemical control agent to treat your yard.
Mountainside Medical Equipment carries a wide range of insect repellents to help protect you and your loved ones from tick bites and Lyme Disease. Check out our insect bite category
today and see what products might work best for you and your family. Perfect for having on hand and keeping in the car, purse, backpack, athletic bags, and with your outing gear, the Safetec Insect Repellent Packets
are great for all those last minute and spur of the moment outings when you might not think to pack the bug spray.