Time to avoid ticks
After our long, snowy winter, everyone wants to be outdoors. But summer doesn’t come without its potential dangers – sun damage, dehydration, and the dreaded insect bites that can range from annoying to quite serious. Ticks are most important to safeguard against as they can cause Lyme’s disease and other serious health conditions. So how do we avoid them?
The obvious ways include steering clear of wooded and bushy locations, tall grass spots, and areas with lots of leaves piled up. But for folks who love to hike, this seems a bit extreme. And for those who pass through dunes to get to the beach, it may be impossible to avoid high grass. So take some precautions and walk in the center of trails or pathways. Protect your body and your clothing with repellants. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend a repellent that contains 20 to 30% DEET be applied to clothing and exposed skin.
After hiking or being around high risk areas, or even just outside in the garden or lawn, check your body for ticks. Best way is to bathe or shower within two hours of coming inside. It’s easier to find ticks that way. If that’s not feasible, at the very least use a mirror or another person to check yourself – and in particular, children – by looking under arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind knees, between legs, around the waist, and especially on the whole scalp as ticks love to hide in hair.
Also check your clothing, your gear and especially, your pets. One suggestion is to throw your clothes into the dryer to tumble on high heat for an hour to kill any ticks still hanging on. For more info, visit CDC Lyme Prevention.