Avoiding and Treating Ticks

To avoid exposure to ticks, stay on the trails and avoid grassy, brushy areas. Wear light colored clothing so ticks can be seen. Wear long sleeve shirts and tuck shirts into pants and pant legs into socks. Wear a hat. Do not wear shorts on the trails. Check yourself for ticks or have someone else check for you. Finding and removing a tick early (within 36 hours) is key to the prevention of Lyme disease. If a tick is attached to your skin, grab it with tweezers as close to your skin as possible and pull it straight out. Do not use Vaseline. It will kill the tick and cause more harm. Also do not squeeze the body of the tick, it can cause all the infected material of the tick to enter into your skin. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and use a disinfectant.

You should have any tick bite checked by a doctor, but you should definitely have a doctor check out the bite if a rash of more than one inch wide appears at the site of the bite. This is a sign of Lyme disease. If you have flu-like symptoms up to a month after being bitten by a tick, call your doctor, you could have ehrlichiosis, another serious, potentially fatal, tick-borne disease that can be treated with antibiotics. Don’t forget to check your pets for ticks also. You can get a Lyme disease vaccine for your dogs, but they have not yet developed one for cats. Be sure to use a flea and tick control medication or a flea and tick collar also.

For more info visit the American Lyme Disease Foundation website.

Other Tips and Advice

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