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Lyme Disease: Limiting Your Exposure To Ticks: Part Two
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Lyme Disease: Limiting Your Exposure To Ticks: Part Two

Part 2

Last month’s article discussed the signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease, as well as some tips on limiting your exposure to ticks. This month’s article will continue this discussion.

Before you go outdoors know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks.

Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin is used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. There are many insect repellents, some natural, that can help you combat your exposure to ticks. Always follow the product instructions.

Once you are indoors, check your clothing for ticks. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, consider a longer dry time. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is best as cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks.

Examine your gear and pets. Ticks ride into the home on clothing and pets.

Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors is shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tick-borne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.

Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks: Under the arms, in and around the ears, inside belly button, back of the knees, in and around the hair, between the legs and around your waist.

How Do I Prevent Ticks From Getting On My Pet?

Vaccines are not available for most of the tick-borne diseases that dogs can get, and they don’t keep the dogs from bringing ticks into your home. For these reasons, it is suggested that you use a tick preventive product on your dog.

Note that cats are extremely sensitive to a variety of chemicals. Do not apply any tick prevention products to your cats without first asking your veterinarian.

How Do I Prevent Ticks In My Yard?

Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns. Place a three-foot wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas and around patios and play equipment. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.

Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked. Stack wood neatly and in a dry area (discourages rodents that ticks feed on). Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees and place them in a sunny location, if possible.

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