May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Preventing ticks is the best way to prevent Lyme disease because deer ticks (or black-legged ticks) are the primary vector of this debilitating disease. How can you prevent being bitten by ticks? Here are some helpful tips for avoiding ticks from the Jacksonville pest control professionals at McCall Service.
While deer ticks are not native to all states, by traveling to areas where there are higher populations of deer ticks, you are more at risk of getting Lyme disease via an infected deer tick bite. Thankfully there are some ways to help prevent tick bites.
When spending time outdoors, wear long pants, especially if you plan to go for a hike. Tuck your pant legs into your socks to help prevent ticks jumping onto your body and looking for a spot on your skin where they can feed. Keep shirts tucked in as well, because ticks are looking for the soft and fleshy parts of your body (they like the warm spots too!).
Try to avoid walking through wooded and bushy areas with high grass or leaf litter; this type of environment is an ideal hiding place for ticks.
When walking on trails, make sure to walk in the center of the trail.
Make sure that your pet is routinely treated with a tick preventative treatment. If your pet isn’t picking up ticks, then they aren’t bringing those ticks into your home or to your yard.
Use insect repellents on your own body that repel ticks. Adults can use repellents that contain 20 to 30% DEET on clothing and skin for tick protection that will last several hours. Check with your child’s pediatrician for information on what insect repellents are safe for them.
After spending time outdoors, bathe or shower immediately so that you may check your body for ticks.
Check your pets for ticks as soon as they return indoors. Run your hands lightly over their fur and feel for small lumps that may be engorged ticks attached to your pet.
These tick prevention tips can help you avoid picking up a tick but unfortunately these tips aren’t foolproof. Deer ticks that carry Lyme disease are usually very small and can be hard to detect. It is always recommended to see your doctor if you believe you’ve been bit by a tick or if you are seeing symptoms of Lyme disease.