Prevention is key to protecting yourself and your family against Lyme disease. We have patients who have been bit in their own backyard. You do not have to go in the woods or tall grass to get bit. There are ways to protect yourself no matter where you are.
Stay in the middle of paths avoiding brush, tall grassy areas, sitting on logs, and leaning against trees. No, ticks do NOT jump or fly but in heavily tick infested areas, ticks have been known to fall out of trees. Keep your lawn free of leaf litter. Please remember you don't have to live where deer walk through. Any animal can bring ticks into your yard, even your own pets. Keep your yard sprayed for ticks. There are natural sprays or granules that can be put down in your yard especially if you have kids or pets.
Spray your clothes with permethrin if you live in a tick infested area. Deet has been found to be ineffective
Think twice before sitting on a log. Ticks can be hiding in the bark of the tree log. Ticks can sense your breath & your shadow. Lonestar ticks are very aggressive and they will hunt you down.
against ticks. It is also very toxic. Permethrin is even used for the military. It is good for 5 or 6 washings. Use a natural spray on your skin. Make sure you tuck your pants into your socks. Tuck your shirt into your pants or using permethrin is useless as the tick could crawl right up your leg under your pants. Wearing lighter-colored clothing makes it easier to spot a tick if one happens to get on you.
While outdoors, do frequent tick checks. Upon returning home, promptly throw your clothes in the dryer for 10-15 minutes. Heat kills ticks but washing does not. Water does NOT kill ticks. Also, take a shower after returning from the great outdoors. This is the perfect opportunity to inspect your body all over for ticks especially behind the knees, the groin area, under your arms, back of neck and ears, and check your scalp.
Make sure your pet is protected. Your pet can bring ticks back into your home. The tick can come off your pet onto you as you pet it or when it rubs against you or furniture. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations. We know that some vets recommend the Seresto collar. It has been our own experience that some of the spot on products are no longer affective against ticks. Many of the spot on repellents only kill after the tick has already bit your pet. Some infections can be passed immediately as pathogens can be in the ticks saliva.
Please remember there is NO safe window for a tick to be attached. Studies have shown that some infections can be transmitted in 10-15 minutes.
Another no, no. Ticks like to hide under leaves to protect themselves from the heat or cold. The leaves provide moisture for ticks as well. A tick can go right up inside the pant leg up to the groin & it would be very hard to see.