The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that each year, between 20,000 and 30,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease. However, it is important to note that Lyme disease is just one of the many illnesses that are transmitted by ticks including Heartland Virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, erlichiosis and babesiosis.
Here are some great tips to help you survive tick season:
1. Keep tweezers and Ziploc bags handy– You should carry tweezers and Ziploc bags in your purse and car and have them handy at home too. Tweezers are the most ideal way to get a tick off of you and you will need the Ziploc bag to keep it in. To remove a tick, use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Then, pull the tick away from your skin until it releases its grip from your skin. Put the tick in the Ziploc bag for later disposal.
2. Place clothes in dryer before washing- If you have been working out in the yard, when you enter your home, remove your clothing and place in the dryer. The majority of ticks are sensitive to dryness. Turn the dryer on high and leave clothes in there for about 10-15 minutes. Then, wash the clothes in the hottest water possible and dry again on high heat.
3. Use a repellant with DEET– Use a repellent with 20% DEET and apply to not only your skin but your clothing as well. Apply every 3-4 hours or as needed.
4. Use permethrin to kill ticks– Permethrin is a repellent that kills ticks. This product should be used on clothing, socks and shoes. Do not use it directly on your skin.
5. Wear proper clothing- During tick season, if you spend time outside, you should wear long pants, long sleeve shirts and long socks. While this may not be the most comfortable in hot weather, it will keep ticks away from your skin.
Discussion: Have you ever found a tick on you?