How you can help prevent getting Lyme disease? The key is to avoid getting bitten by ticks, and you can do that by following these five simple tips.
1. Area inside.
Because tick bites transmit Lyme disease, a Virginia infectious disease clinic says, “The best way to protect yourself is to create a safe zone by making your home environment unsuitable for ticks. They thrive in bushes and tall grass, so remove leaves and mow your lawn regularly. If your home is near a wooded area, use gravel to create a barrier.
And since ticks contract the disease from mice, it’s crucial to eliminate their habitat in your yard as well.
2. Put safety first.
“Enjoy the outdoors safely,” implore doctors at Johns Hopkins Medicine. If you take a walk or hike, “avoid exposure in wooded and overgrown areas, stay on marked trails when hiking, and stay away from tall grass and uncleared areas of the forest floor.” These are all areas where ticks are often lurking.
3. Spray it.
“To repel ticks, you may want to spray your clothing with permethrin, an insecticide commonly found in lawn and garden stores,” the Cleveland Clinic said. “Insect repellents that contain a chemical called DEET can also be applied to clothing or directly to the skin. Read labels carefully. Don’t abuse it. Too much can be harmful.”
4. Dress for success.
“What you wear matters when it comes to preventing tick bites,” say experts at Tufts University in Massachusetts. “Light-colored clothing allows you to easily spot dark-colored creatures. Long-sleeved shirts protect your arms, while long-sleeved shirts protect your legs. Tuck your pants into your socks to create a complete barrier between the world of ticks and your skin. Closed shoes are a must.”
5. Check it out.
According to the folks at Hartford HeathCare in Connecticut: “After spending time outside, do a body check to see if there are any ticks on your clothing or skin. Once on the body, ticks are most often found under the arms, around the ears, behind the knees, between the legs, on the head or inside the belly button.”