Tips and Tricks to prevent and protect yourself from tick bites and contracting Lyme disease (and it's co-infections)
When in bushy areas minimise the amount of skin exposed by wearing light coloured long clothing so you can have the best chance of seeing if ticks do jump onto you.
- Tuck your long pants into your socks to prevent ticks getting under your pants onto your skin (i know sounds totally dorky but anyone with Lyme disease will tell you that it’s better to look a bit dorky than get Lyme disease!
Wear a hat or beanie to protect your head
If you are in bushy areas try and stick to cleared paths and trails to minimise contact with overgrown leafy, bushy, grassy areas.
Check your clothing regularly and ideally take off clothing before you go inside so you don't get any hitch hikers (the neighbours will love you!!)
Any clothes that you wore outside are best placed in the HOT dryer for about 15 minutes that way any sneaky ticks will be killed
You can use insect repellants on clothes and exposed skin but sometimes these chemicals can be quite dangerous. You need to weigh up your risks. There are a few more natural repellants available on the market that you may want to look into and invest in.
A few of these natural ways to prevent ticks include citronella oil, rose geranium oil and Pamerosa. If you put any of these oils on the skin (try adding them to your moisteriser) it is believed that it will repel ticks as they are not attracted to the smell. Rub these on your beloved pets as well.
I have also heard that ticks detest vinegar so putting a teaspoon of vinegar in your water (and your pets water) can make you less attractive to the blood sucking ticks! Who knows it may make you less attractive to mosquito’s too!
Ticks also don’t like chlorine, so although i don’t really think chlorine is great for you either a dip in a pool if you have been in the garden or tick areas could be a good idea!
There is a product that uses permetherin that can be applied to clothing and boots (NOT to the skin). Its not something i would recommend using but if you are in an epidemic area or severely allergic or sensitive to ticks you may want to. It actually kills ticks that come in contact with the treated clothing and stays effective through several washes.
Check your pets daily, especially if they are house pets.
If exposed to tick areas you need to check yourself thoroughly using a mirror. Be sure to check in all those places ticks love to get into including backs of the knees, groin, between the toes, behind the ears, around the scalp and in the hair.
Know the signs and symptoms of acute Lyme disease in case you don't notice the tick but get symptoms are being in bushy areas
Being a country girl a farmer told me a great proactive suggestion for those that live in bushy areas is to spray the lawn and surrounding area with beneficial nematodes after it has rained. Nematodes love wet soil and as they burrow down they are supposed to not only kill ticks but also fleas, grubs, worms, fire ants or any other lawn and garden invaders!