It’s Tick Season Again
May 10, 2019
Connecticut is gearing up for another season of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Although it is important to realize that tick bites can occur year round, these parasites are most active during the warmer months.
The most important tactic in preventing tick-borne diseases is avoiding bites. Oftentimes, bites happen while doing yard work or hiking in the woods, as ticks live in grassy, brushy, and wooded areas.
What is the best prevention against tick bites while participating in those activities? There are a few recommended strategies from the CDC:
- Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants with socks pulled over the pants.
- Apply permethrin 0.5% to clothes and boots before going outside.
- For adults, use EPA registered insect repellants containing DEET, picaridin, lemon and eucalyptus oils, para-menthanediol (PMD) or 2-undecanone.
- After you come indoors, check your clothing for ticks. If possible, remove and tumble-dry clothing items on high heat for 10 minutes or wash in hot water to kill ticks.
- Always examine your pets for ticks.
Showering within 1–2 hours of your outdoor activity is a good method for removing unattached ticks. Be sure to do a full body check for attached ones. Although they can attach anywhere on your body the most common spots are:
- Behind the knees
- In and around the ears
- In the scalp or around the hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
- Under the arms
Enjoy the great outdoors but take these precautions first.
By Robert Wenick, MD