How can you help prevent getting Lyme disease? The key is to avoid getting bitten by ticks — and you can accomplish this using these five simple tips.
1. Zone in.
As 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 the landscape of your home unsuitable to ticks. They thrive in brush 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 get the disease from mice, it's crucial to eliminate their habitats in your yard too.
2. Put safety first.
“Enjoy the outdoors safely,” implore the doctors at Johns Hopkins Medicine. If going for a walk or a hike, “avoid exposure in wooded, overgrown areas, stay on marked trails when hiking and stay out of tall grass and uncleared areas of the forest floor.” These are all areas in which ticks are most often lying in wait.
3. Spray it on.
“To repel ticks, you may want to spray your clothing with permethrin, an insecticide commonly found in lawn and garden stores,” said the Cleveland Clinic. “Insect repellents that contain a chemical called DEET can also be applied to clothing or directly on your skin. Read the labels carefully. Don't overuse it. Too much may be harmful.“
4. Dress for success.
“What you wear matters when it comes to preventing tick bites,” said experts from Massachusetts’ Tufts University. “Light-colored clothing allows you to easily spot the dark-colored creatures. Long-sleeved shirts protect your arms, while long longs protect your legs. Tuck pants into socks to create a full barrier between the tick worlds and your skin. Closed shoes are a must.”
5. Check it out.
According to folks at Connecticut’s Hartford HeathCare: “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 can most often be found under the arms, around the ears, behind the knees, between the legs, on your head or inside the belly button."