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Lyme disease prevention

I don't like thinking about ticks. You don't like thinking about ticks. We don't like anything about the little buggers, least of all the fact that when you're outdoors on a lovely summer day, you must think about them! However, protecting yourself, your kids and your pets can give you a sense of control and actually help prevent infection or re-infection from a tick bite. Here are two ways to make you feel a bit safer from Lyme this summer.

First, check your body thoroughly (and teach older children how to check theirs) when you've been hiking or picnicking or doing anything outdoors where you suspect there may be ticks lurking. Give special attention to the area around your ankles, the backs of your knees, your waistband and your armpits. Ticks start out low to the ground and climb up. Shower when you get home, but remember that ticks do not wash off. You must remove them with a tweezers. To remove, gently grab the tick as close to the skin as possible, and pull straight out without twisting or turning. Some people recommend squeezing fresh garlic juice directly on the bite immediately. Antibiotic cream may work as well. Place the tick in a plastic baggie for testing.

Second, eliminate the habitats ticks love in your yard. Ticks don't like to hang out in the middle of the yard unless there are tall grasses to climb. They do like the moist, shady areas around the perimeter of the yard, ornamental plantings and gardens. Ticks like leaf piles. Rake leaves and get rid of them. Keep shrubs trimmed and cut off low branches. Have a professional spray the perimeter of your yard. Do a bit of research to see what types of tick control insecticides are recommended for use in your area. Tick killing agents are not as toxic to humans as they once were.

Read more about preventing lyme disease.

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