How to Prevent Lyme disease
Lyme disease is spread by a tick bite, and it's estimated that there are 427,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year in the United States. From sitting outside enjoying a cool summer breeze in your backyard to camping in the woods, ticks can be lurking. Prevention is one of the most important actions you can take against Lyme disease, and below are a few things you can do to keep you and your family safe.
Use insect repellent, such as DEET or any EPS approved sprays. It's a fast and simple way to give yourself a layer of protection.
Wear clothes treated in Permethrin, whether you are having a backyard BBQ or hiking at a nearby trail, insect repellent leggings are a great option. Especially if they are tucked into socks and you are wearing closed-toed shoes to prevent ticks from climbing on you. If you do have a space between your socks and your leggings, make sure to spray your shoes and ankles with insect repellent. Pesky's is a great brand for women, and outdoor retailers such as REI also have treated clothes.
Avoid areas were ticks live, such as tall grass, wood piles and leaf piles. If you are hiking, stay on the trail and avoid the brush.
Toss your clothes in the dyer as soon as you get home on high heat for 10-15 minutes to kill live ticks. THEN put them in the washer.
Do a tick check, and make sure to look in the hard to see areas such as behind the ears. Ticks can be extremely small, some the size of a tip of a tack.
Protect your home by treating your home and backyard with either chemical or natural methods. Also, ensure your backyard is well-managed with a mowed lawn and clear of leaf litter. Ticks do not usually like sunny well-kept grass.
Protect your pets. Dogs are at high risk for attracting ticks and Lyme disease and can carry the ticks from the outdoors into your home. Talk to your vet about tick repellent products for your pet.