Ticks are not only a problem in the summer, they are extremely active in the spring and fall and are becoming a problem during the warmer days in the winter as well. It's important to be informed and be on your guard for ticks and the diseases they can carry, such as Lyme, which affects about 300,000 people in the U.S. each year and is "increasing significantly," according to tick experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We live in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent. Following these simple steps can make all the difference in the world. Be diligent and protect yourself by:
- Wearing the right clothing can make the difference -It’s hot and you want to wear cooler clothing. But the best way to protect yourself from ticks is to wear long pants,a long sleeve shit, shoes and socks. It's best to wear clothing in a lighter color. With darker colored clothing, it makes it very difficult to see ticks.
- Protect your clothing – If you spend a lot of time outside then it would be wise to treat your clothing with permethrin. Permethrin can be purchased in a spray bottle and is applied directly to you clothing (not while wearing and allow to dry before wearing). It and will stay effective through 6 washes. It is a synthetic material will repel and kill tick, chiggers, mites and mosquitoes.
- Sprays and Repellents- There are days that it will be too hot to walk around in long sleeves. On these days use insect repellents. The most effective repellents are the ones that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Check Yourself for Ticks- After any time spent outside, it is important to perform a thorough inspection of your skin for tiny black spots. Ticks are very small and can sometimes be mistaken for a freckle. Also, you should take a quick shower. This will allow you to inspect the hidden regions of the body like the groin and under your arms.
- Use the clothes dryer it control ticks and other insects - If you suspect ticks on your clothes, place them in the dryer on high heat for a minimum of 20 minutes. Ticks can survive the washing machine, even with hot water, but that can’t tolerate the dry heat of a dryer.
- Don’t Assume You’re Safe in Your Own Yard- Ticks can be found anywhere, and that includes your backyard. They can easily be found in the city where ticks have latch on to birds, mice and other animals. They are especially fond of fruit trees. If you have an apple tree in your yard, pick up any fruit and clear out the dead leaves. Leaves are an ideal hiding spot for a tick to lurk and wait for someone to walk by and latch onto them.
- Protect your home - Establish a barrier around your home with a pesticide perimeter treatment. This treatment can prevent fleas and ticks from migrating into your home, although they can still hitch a ride on you or your pet. Removing brush, plants and leaf litter around your home will eliminate hiding places for fleas and ticks.
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