Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, with up to 476,000 cases annually. It is caused by the bacterium Borrelia Burydorferi and occasionally by Borrelia Mayonii. The disease is usually transmitted through a bite by an infected tick, commonly the black-legged tick.
Individuals who camp a lot, hike, or work outdoors, might be at the most risk of being bitten by ticks. Prevention they say is better and cheaper than cure; hence, here are some preventive measures against Lyme disease.
How to Prevent Lyme Disease
Avoid Tick-Infested Areas
Stay away from areas where ticks are prevalent Lyme causing ticks (black-legged) are predominantly found in moist and humid environments. Ticks thrive in areas with long grass, beach grass, and stone walls. Avoid walking through leaves, bushes, and other vegetation to prevent tick bites.
Wear Bright-colored Clothes
Bright-colored clothes make it easier to spot a tick when it’s on you. Wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants, socks, a cap, and trainers when going outdoors. Tuck the shirt into the pants and the pants into the socks. Cover your hair with a cap and tuck in your hair as well. This is to prevent ticks from getting beneath your clothes.
Apply Tick Repellent
When outdoors, use the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved tick repellent and insecticide only. Deet, picaridin, and permethrin are respective examples. Avoid putting the repellents on the eyes and mouth, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Use permethrin on clothing and shoes.
Remove and Heat Your Dress
Remove the cloth that you wear outdoors immediately after you get home, put it in a dry at high temperatures and let it sit for like 15 minutes. This kills any tick that might have made it home with you.
Self-Examine After Going Outdoor
Examine yourself each time you go outdoors, especially to places with a possible tick infestation. Look out for bumps around the back of the knees, armpits, groin, in and outside the ears, and the navel.
Ticks are insects that like to hide; the longer a tick stays undiscovered on your body, the higher the chance of having Lyme disease. The bacteria causing Lyme disease can cause Lyme if it remains on your body for 36 to 48hrs, so the earlier you detect the tick, the better.
Tick-Proof Your Environment
Rid your yard of unnecessary grasses that may house tick. Regularly now your lawn and keep woods neatly arranged in a dry and sun-exposed spot, if any. Spray peppermint oil or other insecticides in your yard to ward off ticks.
Protects Your Pets
Pets like dogs are likely to contract Lyme disease, the chance increases by two if your pets roam outdoors freely. According to research, the prevalence of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in the last five years has increased by 112%.
Contact your veterinarian for tick repellent appropriate for your pet and ensure that you restrict your pet’s movement to protect your family from Lyme disease.
Contact a Professional Exterminator
Getting rid of ticks totally is one of the best ways to prevent Lyme disease. This is why you should reach out to a reliable professional exterminator to help you deal with the infestation. Check here to learn more.