2. Did you know, the 6 most important words that will help prevent Lyme Disease – Tick Check, Tick Check, Tick Check! – Even when using a repellent it is extremely important to perform a tick check on you or your child after returning from a walk, gardening or playing outside
3. Did you know, 70% of the people bitten by a tick say it was in their yard? Know where the ticks are. They can be anywhere.
4. Did you know, the biggest tick carrier of the black legged/deer tick is the white footed mouse? The mouse could carry as many as 200-300 ticks on them at any time. 40-50% of those ticks could be carrying the spirochete bacteria causing Lyme Disease or other tick borne illnesses.
5. Did you know, other small animals such as chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits and birds carry many ticks? Though large animals such as deer, moose and bear carry ticks as well, the small animals have more ticks because they live closer to the ground. The black legged / deer tick waits on a blade of grass for its next host to come by and will grab a hold of them without being noticed.
6. Did you know, Black legged /deer ticks are not the only ticks that carry Lyme Disease ? Black legged ticks and lone star ticks can cause Lyme Disease as well as other tick borne illnesses. In the Midwest dog ticks have also been known to carry the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.
7. Did you know, the nymph Black legged/deer ticks are as dangerous as the adult female tick since they are no bigger than a speck of dirt? They are often described as the size of a poppy seed which makes it easy to miss them on your body. These nymph ticks can carry Lyme Disease. The adult female has a reddish color shell and they also can carry Lyme Disease.
9. Did you know, when taking nature walks stay on hard surfaces and keep to the center of hiking trails if possible. Try to resist sitting on stone walls or logs.
10. Did you know to beware of the Japanese Barberry Bush? CT Agricultural Experiment Station suggests removing them from your yard or stay clear of them when walking. The small rodents often use it for shelter. The moist soil harbors the ticks and mice. Ticks are often found climbing on the upper branches of this bush and will latch onto anyone that brushes against it.
11. Did you know, to help deter ticks in your yard, consider using tick barriers such as stones or cedar mulch close to any wetlands or wooded area? Keep your grass cut short. There are also different types of sprays for your yard. Both chemical and non-chemical. Consider what would work best for you and your family. There are also other commercial products that will kill the ticks on the small rodents but will not harm the animals. The natural enemies of ticks are opossums and some fowl.
12. Do you know the best way to dress when outside? Though the summer heat can make it difficult to dress appropriately while out in a tick environment, try to wear light clothes that can help you see the tiny black nymph ticks. Tuck pant legs inside the socks and wear long sleeves. If working in the yard wear gloves as well.
13. Do you know there are many different types of tick repellents? There are chemical repellents as well as natural repellents. It is important to know, it is often best to use one type for clothing and one for your skin especially if you use a chemical repellent for your clothing. If you are using a natural repellent for clothing or your skin be sure you apply or re-apply it more frequently than a chemical repellent.
15. Did you know, after being outside, take all clothing off and do not co-mingle them with other clothes that need to be washed? If you do not plan on washing the clothes immediately put them in a large sealed plastic bag until they can be washed. Be sure it is tightly sealed since ticks can crawl out if not sealed properly.
16. Did you know if you place your clothes in the dryer immediately on very hot temperature for at least 15 minutes this will kill the ticks? Do not wash your clothes first since washing clothes may not kill any ticks on them. Ticks can live up to 2 -3 days in water.
17. Remember those 6 most important words to help prevent Lyme Disease are Tick Check, Tick Check, Tick Check! Don’t forget the nymph ticks are the size of a speck of dirt or poppy seed.
18. Did you know ticks look for warm spots on your body to engorge? Check all warm spots on your body including but not limited to neck, behind ears, in the hair, under arms, behind knees, groin area and back. Remember they numb the area and also will use an adhesive to glue themselves on.
19. Did you know it’s important to Immediately take a hot shower and wash your hair? Any tick not fully engorged will most likely come off at this time. Be sure to carefully check small children. A bath or shower and washing their hair are all important aspects of prevention.
20. Do you know the proper way to remove a tick? It is imperative you remove an engorged tick quickly and save it in a small bottle or baggie that is tightly sealed. Do not try home remedies that actually allow the tick to remain under the skin while the remedy starts to work. Use tweezers or a tick removal spoon. Grab tick firmly from behind, apply pressure and pull the tick straight up and out. Be absolutely sure you have removed the head since the bacteria is in the saliva glands and could continue to seep into the blood stream. Ticks may be sent to the health department or the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station to be tested.
21. Did you know that your pets can get Lyme Disease as well? There is a vaccine available for dogs. This vaccine will at least limit the systems of the disease.There are also repellents available. Check with your Vet to help decide what will work best for your dog. There are clothing items such as bandanas and vests treated with Permethrin that can be used on your dog. Check your pet before they come inside. This can be as debilitating a disease for them as it is for us if not taken care of immediately.
22. Be sure to monitor yourself or children for any immediate or later symptoms and notify the doctor. Though a bull’s eye rash is a key symptom of Lyme Disease it only occurs 40% of the time. And only 30-40% of the people every see the tick that bit them. In addition, 60% of the people that have Lyme Disease have a co-existing tick borne illness as well. When testing is performed, ask for the tests to include other common tick borne illnesses.