According to Melinda Wenner Moyer, writer for Slate magazine, 2017 could be a nasty year for ticks – that’s what she learned by talking to biologists such as Richard Ostfeld.
Since 2015 was a “mast” year (meaning trees produced a lot of acorns), it beget a mouse-boom the year after which, in 2017, could lead to an outbreak in ticks. Mice are notoriously known for carrying Lyme disease; ticks love to feed off of mice. Moyer suggests a few tips to keep your family safe while traveling through the woods.
1. Do daily tick checks. Moyer suggests that this is the best way to keep the little buggers from burrowing in. “Lyme usually takes at least 24 hours to transmit after a tick embeds,” she writes. She recommends looking for brown or black dots with legs. It’s important to check everywhere, including ears, the backs of knees and elbows, armpits, hairlines and more.
2. Treat your clothes. One way to do this is to use permethrin, a synthetic pesticide derived from chrysanthemums, which can be applied to shoes and clothes. Dry permethrin is perfectly safe, notes Moyer. It’s known for its effectiveness – more potent than even DEET.
3. Spray your skin before going into the woods. Moyer suggest DEET. Another topical product is picaridin. Some Avon Skin so Soft products are also effective.
4. Treat your pets. Pets can bring ticks into the home unawares, which then hop onto family members. Moyer recommends Bayer’s Seresto flea and tick collar to prevent an infestation. It lasts for 8 months.
5. Give ticks no refuge. By this Moyer means installing tick tubes on property, such as a Damminix tick tube, which can help corral and eliminate ticks.
The CDC also recommends putting a 3-foot-wide wood chip boundary between your yard and the natural habitat, says Moyer.
These are just a few tips on how to keep Lyme disease from infecting you or our family. What do you think? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.