Sign in with Google+ Sign in with LinkedIn

Diatomaceous Earth--Guard against tick bites

Prevent tick bites
While I was researching ways to guard against tick bites, such as rubbing your skin with clove, tea tree, peppermint oil or other essential oils, a reader wrote to tell me about food-grade Diatomaceous Earth.

This is not the same Diatomaceous Earth that we used to mix into the pool filter. That DE is laden with chemicals.

I had never heard of “food-grade” DE, which is said to be safe to consume. I’m skeptical, because in anecdotal research it is referred to as something of a panacea, curing everything from hot flashes to cancer.

Obviously, not one, single supplement can do everything.

DE kills fleas and gnats
But what can it do?
Is it all hype?

Not all of it.
My friend Stephanie uses it to kill fleas. If you’ve ever experienced the hell of a flea infestation, that’s worth a whole lot.

And I’ve used it successfully myself to kill gnats when they threatened to overtake my house. Mixed a tablespoon or two into the topsoil of the houseplants.

So I’ve seen it kill off gnats and fleas without harming pets and children. That’s a good sign. It can be rubbed into your pet's skin to help guard against tick and flea bites.
Caveat: DE is not fit for breathing. Take care that your pet's nose, mouth and respiratory passages are protected during application, and apply it when outside in fresh air.

85% Silica
Diatomaceous Earth is mostly silica. 85% and up. The rest is made up of additional minerals.

The way it kills tiny insects is by tearing into their exoskeleton and dehydrating them.
Drying them to death.

You’ve seen those tiny packets of silica that are used in packaged goods such as dried foods, clothing, toys, and all sorts of consumer goods. The reason silica is effective is because of its dehydrating ability.

It sucks the moisture out of whatever it’s packed into.

When consumed, it is said, DE offers the benefit of nourishing the body with silica and cleansing the colon of parasites, molds, bacteria and other scum in general that is contributing to a lack of energy and all manner of illness.

Why should silica matter to Lyme patients?

First, silica is what the body needs to generate collagen.

Second, Lyme bacteria are famous for eating the collagen out of our joints and skin. Our knees, Dr. Cowden once told me, are nothing but fine-dining collagen restaurants for the Borrelia bacteria.

So is it safe to consume DE?
Because if it is, I want to know. It could not only help cleanse the colon of all the bad stuff, it could also restore the damage done to our joints and skin (and nails and hair).

I’m in!! But…

My first instinct is to avoid taking it, simply because I wouldn’t want to stir up a major herx. Anything that changes the stasis of the gut is likely to do so.

Ask your Lyme literate doctor
If you are considering trying it, please first ask your doctor(s) about it. Let me know what they say.

I’ll post about DE again, once I find a qualified medical expert to offer scientific evidence that food-grade DE is helpful. Especially if it might help anyone who suffers with Lyme and its co-infections.

Many Lyme patients are dealing with immune-system challenges such as an imbalance of gut flora and fauna, a direct result of using pharmaceutical antibiotics.

Leaky gut syndrome
According to Dr. Lee Cowden, it’s often a case of the cure being worse than the illness itself. Pharmaceutical antibiotics punch holes in the gut lining, causing leaky bowel syndrome (IBS) and other problems that may be very difficult to cure.

Center of the immune system
The gut is center of the immune system. In traditional Chinese medicine, it’s called the dantian, a.k.a. the sea of qi (pronounced chee). In Japanese it is called the hara.

The story goes that qi, or jing, is the energy that sustains life. It supplies the rootedness and vitality required for healthy life to develop. When the dantian is unhealthy, from poor diet and nutrition to lack of fresh oxygen, the person will be sick and drained of energy.

In traditional Chinese medicine, qi gong practice helps restore and maintain the energy flow throughout the body and mind with deep, rhythmic breathing and slow physical movement.

So it follows that cleansing one’s colon would also help to restore one’s health and vital energy.

Food-grade DE for humans?

I you are thinking about giving food-grade DE a try, be sure to heed the disclaimers and warnings.

The FDA has not weighed in on this stuff. They haven’t tested or approved it for human or animal consumption. Therefore, DE may have unknown consequences or contraindications. Buyer beware.




Comments

Cold freeze won't keep ticks from biting

Gorgeous fall weather brings temptations. Pumpkin pie cooling by the kitchen window. Outdoors, leaf-strewn mountain paths beckon. Canada geese honk and chatter in the clear twilight as they pass overhead on their way to the nearby lake.

The last thing we want to think about is Lyme disease. However, there is an increased chance of getting Lyme during winter, when we believe ticks don’t pose a threat.

I hope you’re feeling well enough to spend some time outdoors. Natural environments have an undisputed healing power, increasing relaxation and restoring a sense of balance in our minds and bodies. But if you do, take the necessary precautions. At least in Rhode Island,
ticks can survive even a cold New England freeze, according to Dr. Thomas Mather of the University of Rhode Island.

From WPRI News:
Ticks can survive throughout the entire winter, even if they are frozen in the ground for periods of time.

“They must produce some sort of antifreeze inside of themselves, because as soon as the ground thaws and they warm up again, they’re back out and biting,” said Mather.


When you go for a hike in the fresh fall air, stay in the middle of the path. Avoid grassy and wooded areas. Wear long socks and boots and tuck your pant legs in. Perform that routine tick check when you come inside. Pets who share our living space should routinely be inspected too. And bear in mind, wearing DEET does not guarantee protection from tick bites.
Comments

Warm-weather ticks & Treatment strategy questioned

Surprisingly brisk bursts of wind scatter multi-colored leaves and shuttle herds of gray thunderheads across the sky. It’s Fall, arguably the most beautiful time of the year, at least in our nook of the SE. Still, when it comes to unwanted critters, awareness and prevention are the rule for venturing outdoors.

Warmer weather creates a haven for the tiny natural catastrophes we know as
ticks. In the Southeast, we may be advised that ticks don’t carry Lyme disease, but an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. A recent news clip from WXIA in Georgia attests to the rise in ticks, which may be due to the very warm weather much of the nation has endured over the course of 2012.

For prevention, the classic advice includes keeping on top of your pets’ tick and flea medications, and using caution outdoors. When you are outside, whether hiking, strolling through a neighborhood park, or preparing your garden for the season, don’t make yourself available for ticks. Start a fashion trend -- goodness knows it’ll keep the neighbors amused. Tuck your pants into the tops of your socks and wear light-colored clothing so ticks are easier to spot. Who says you can’t wear white after Labor Day?

Other prevention-strategies for the season: Make a tick-check a part of your post-outdoors routine. We can’t see our whole selves even in the mirror. Ask a family member to inspect the back of your head and your back. If they do find a tick -- have them remove it without damaging it (which can increase the risk of infection) and put it in a baggie, so it can be checked for the bacterial complex which causes Lyme and other diseases. Not all ticks carry the spirochete that causes Lyme.

We recommend sending it to
IGeneX Labs in Palo Alto, California. There are a few other labs around the country, which you can find through searching online.

Watch and wait? Or treat with doxy?
People who suspect that they’ve been bitten and infected by a tick have a couple of choices. One is to watch and wait. See your doctor, and be ready to treat symptoms aggressively if they arise. Symptoms can be extremely subtle, and they are mightily varied depending on your particular immune system response, general state of health, age and many other factors.

The other option is to begin antibiotic treatment immediately, with the most common drug used for Lyme, doxycycline. This approach, which is apparently based on only one case study, deserves scrutiny, according to ILADS doctor Elizabeth Maloney, who has
another view on the matter.

In her written testimony, she questions whether this now commonly-recommended prophylaxis strategy is sufficient to treat the borrelia infection. She states that it may indeed prevent the patient from getting the treatment they need, by hiding the symptoms of Lyme. Watching and waiting may be the wisest choice.



Comments

Babesiosis

Ticks! How do I hate them? Let me count the ways.

Babesiosis is known as a co-infection frequently accompanying Lyme. But it is no mere side-kick. The latest threat from ticks is not a new disease, but cases seem to be on the rise especially in the northeastern US. Babesiosis is described as a malaria-like illness which can be life-threatening in some people. It is caused by the parasite babesea microti, which invades and destroys the body's red blood cells.

Unlike Lyme disease, Babesiosis will not present with a
bullseye rash. Symptoms from the outset are fever, sweats, fatigue, bad headaches and malaise, or a general feeling of un-wellness. 

People who are at greatest risk of fatality from Babesiosis:
• are on immuno-suppresant drugs
• lack a spleen
• on chemotherapy
• infants & elderly


Take precautions to prevent exposure to ticks, which can hang out for days on the tips of grasses, and hitch a ride on chipmunks and other rodents if there are no deer around.

In the summertime,
ticks are in the nymph stage, at their tiniest. Just to up the ante of the risk, many of us spend more time outdoors enjoying the warm weather and longer days. This means that when you come inside, tick-check time is even more important than ever. Get the kids in the act. Place a full-length mirror in the foyer and establish a habit of helping each other search for uninvited critters.

Be well, for goodness sake!

Comments

How to recognize Lyme symptoms in your child

Probably the most frightening thing, aside from contracting a Lyme infection yourself, is discovering that your child has Lyme. Parents number one role is to protect, after all. We are the first line of defense between our kids and the big, bad world. We’re hardwired to keep broken glass, vampires and werewolves at bay, to say nothing of the lions, tigers and bears. But some adversaries come in small sizes. Sometimes they’re even invisible to the naked eye.

Lyme shares a long list of symptoms with a number of other illnesses. So what sort of treatment do you give if you don’t know the difference between one disease and another? How can you tell whether your kid has the flu or he’s suffering with Lyme? You find your mind racing to find answers, to fill in the blanks. But, you may reason, you never saw a tick so therefore it can’t be Lyme.

One thing we have to bear in mind is that it’s possible to get a tick bite that nobody notices. You may not have seen any ticks on your child, but if he or she was playing in an area where ticks are prone to live, it is possible that your child was exposed.

I’ve heard some medical doctors say that Lyme disease cannot be transmitted from a tick who hasn’t been attached to a person’s skin for less than 24 hours. I’ve heard them say 36 and 48 hours as well. But according to noted researcher and former Yale post doctoral-operative fellow in therapeutic radiology, Dr. Eva Sapi, there is no evidence to suggest that Lyme can’t be contracted in less time than that. She and her research students in Lyme treatment regularly go on tick-gathering forays in the forest near their New Haven, CT research lab. She has seen people contract Lyme disease when a known-to-be infectious tick has only been attached to their skin for an hour or two, no longer.

People often make a mistake in thinking that if the
bull’s-eye rash that is so closely associated with Lyme isn’t present, than it just can’t be a Lyme infection. However, that simply doesn’t seem to be the case. Although a Lyme infection can be the most likely suspect if that rash is present, the absence of the rash does not indicated that it isn’t a Lyme infection. So if you haven’t seen a tick, and you don’t detect a skin rash, what do you look for?

Lyme symptoms in your child may include the following:

flu-like body aches that don’t improve with sleep
fever
headache
rash
crushing fatigue that is not relieved with rest
joint pain
sensitivity to florescent lights
night sweats
nausea and vomiting
insomnia
forgetfulness and confusion

If you suspect that your child may have Lyme, please try to find a good
Lyme literate doctor. Call ILADS and ask them to give you the name and contact info for the doctor or pediatrician nearest you. Don’t be surprised if a knowledgeable Lyme doctor, who suspects that your child may have a Lyme infection, starts treatment with antibiotics before test results are in. An untreated infection can involve the brain, heart, joints and all the systems of your child’s body. Early treatment for Lyme is so very important, as the disease has three stages. Treatment during stage one is the most reliable way to prevent further progression of the disease.


Comments

Safe mosquito & tick repellent

A friend dropped by with her 8-month-old baby the other day. We sat at the picnic table, enjoying the deep shade of the bamboo. She set the little guy down on the ground, buck naked, where he proceeded to crawl around and gleefully do what babies do best -- put everything into his mouth. As he sampled the bamboo leaves, I flashed on how much my relationship with nature has changed since having Lyme. In the past, I never would have worried about an occasional bug bite. I was like my friend in that respect, assuming that nature, in small doses, mostly can’t, or won’t, cause harm. Now I’m older, wiser, or perhaps just merely unluckier, but one thing’s for sure, I’m definitely much more cautious when interacting with the Great Outdoors.

Typically, I take any recommendation for tick and mosquito repellent with a grain. Either they’re full of poison or they don’t work because they’re ‘natural.’ However, I’ve been experimenting with a safe mosquito & tick spray repellent in my yard and around my house. It’s made of garlic juice. As an honorary Italian, I love the smell, but it does fade after a few hours. This stuff, Mosquito Barrier, is safe to use around people, fish, butterflies and birds, but it supposedly disturbs ticks and kills mosquitoes.

So far, I like the results but I’ve only been using it for a few weeks, so can’t tell if it’s made a huge difference. The baby didn’t get bit, so you can breathe a sigh of relief now. I live on a creek near a lake, so we’re no strangers to bugs. They’re part and parcel of our community, which is actually a certified wildlife habitat. We see no evidence of deer, but there are plenty of resident birds, geese, ducks, frogs, fish, squirrels and other critters (even reportedly a black bear) which means that ticks are probably here as well.

I’m aware that some people discourage deer with certain deer-repelling plants. Others put up fencing to keep deer out, which is a much more complicated and expensive proposition, but worthwhile, if it works. I picked up a citronella-scented geranium at the nursery and placed it by the front door, and I’ve got a truckload of garlic juice ready to spray in another week.

What are you using to repel ticks from your yard? Please share. I’d love to hear.
Comments

Staying Lyme-free in an endemic region

"Almost everybody I know either has Lyme disease, or they know someone who is undergoing Lyme treatment," said my friend Dee, who moved to the Hudson Valley, NY just a few years ago. 

She'd been telling me about her favorite pastime, walking with her dog, Daisy, through the woods near her small house.

"Knock on wood, I haven't gotten it yet. It's kind of shocking how many people have, but honestly, I don't think I've ever even seen a tick out there," she added. I could tell she was amazed at her good luck. "But the fact that I haven't gotten sick doesn't seem to make me more cautious," she went on. "In fact, I feel sort of immune to it." She paused, considering this idea for a moment.

"Are some people just more susceptible than others?" she asked.

While silently giving thanks (and feeling relieved) that my friend remains happy and healthy, I explained what I've learned from Lyme experts regarding our susceptibility.

Ginger Savely, RN, tells us that in her experience observing and treating Lyme patients, it's true that some people tend to attract ticks, just as some of us are mosquito magnets, and some never get bit. Other medical professionals, such as Dr Cowden and the late Dr Joanne Whitaker, who have studied Lyme, its testing and treatment for a lifetime, claim that the Lyme bacteria can be found in body fluids, such as tears, sweat and semen. Pediatrician Dr Charles Ray Jones, who is nothing short of a hero in many of his colleagues and his Lyme patients' estimation, says he has treated very young children who were infected by their mother while in vitro.

"The problem with being Lyme-free while living in a place such as the Hudson Valley," explained Dee, "is that you lose your fear. You don't take the precautions you know you should because it just hasn't happened yet."

Here are some precautions to take, if you plan to venture outdoors in this beautiful spring weather. Be sure to check your dog, too.

To reduce the risk of Lyme disease:

• Wear light-colored clothing and preferably long pants and long sleeves when in places where ticks may be present. This helps in spotting ticks that may be on clothes. Tucking pants into socks is also a very good idea.
• Perform a tick check every day so ticks can be removed before they have a chance to feed and transmit pathogens they might be carrying. Research indicates that a tick has to feed for at least 36 hours before it can transmit pathogens such as the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
• Consider the use of repellents if spending considerable time outdoors.

Source: New York State Health Department

PS: I asked Dr Eva Sapi, Director of Lyme Research at the University of New Haven, Connecticut, whether it was true, in her estimation, that a tick must be attached "for at least 36 hours before it can transmit pathogens," and she assured me there was no evidence to support that assertion.
Comments

Lyme sufferers in need of help

I receive heartrending letters like these every week. Lymenet.org has a good forum, and I have urged these two to go there. If you have some sound advice for these predicaments, we welcome supportive comments.

Note: If you have thoughts of suicide, please call the Lyme Disease Hotline: 1-800-886-LYME (1-800-886-5963)

Hi,
My husband has Lyme disease, and we have health insurance with Blue cross/Blue shield through my job. My husband has been on IV for the past 3 months & is just starting to show some recovery. Now yesterday, 9/1/09, insurance says it will no longer pay, because this treatment is called "experimental IV". Has anyone else had this problem, if so what did you do? I am at a loss.


Hello,
I know I have Lyme, I was bit by a tick at age 4, and I am now 40. It has affected my brain, I have no sense of direction, I cannot remember anything anymore. My left arm feels like it has been cut off at my wrist making if difficult because I am left handed. I have boils on my face the size of golf balls, I can't go into public which being in sales isn't possible so I lost my job. The doctor has tested me for everything under the sun and I told him to test for Lyme. He did a IgG/ImG, something like that, and the blood test came back negative, so he said I do not have Lyme. I can't get out of bed. I now am having problems walking because of my left hip. Several years ago I was semi-diagnosed with MS because I had a case of Bell's Palsy. The tick that bit me in Maryland wasn't found for over 2 days. I was severely ill. My insurance has been canceled and I am losing control. I don't know what to do anymore. I have been thinking suicidal thoughts and am very scared. Please if someone could give me some advice on what to do next. I need some guidance in a really bad way.
Comments

Be wary of misinformation

Aside from ticks and tick-carrying deer in our front yards there is something else we must be vigilant about: Misinformation.

For example, one piece of advice I've read in a number of places says that you won't get Lyme disease if you pull a tick out of your skin before it's been there for 24 hours. These articles usually do not name their source of information, instead saying, "latest medical research indicates that..."

I wouldn't be so sure. I asked Eva Sapi, Ph.D., who directs the graduate studies in Lyme disease research at the University of New Haven, about this claim. She said there was no evidence to support the "24 hour" rule. She added that personally, she knew field researchers who had contracted Lyme from a tick that had only been embedded for a couple of hours.
Comments

Under Our Skin filmmaker honored



Congratulations to filmmaker Andy Abrahams Wilson, who is being honored this week at a Turn the Corner Foundation event in New York City. Andy's heartwrenching and eye-opening documentary film, Under Our Skin, exposes the medical establishment's frequent dismissal of people suffering with Lyme.

From the press release: Turn the Corner will present the Vision of Hope Award to Andy Abrahams Wilson, Producer/Director of Under Our Skin, a film that investigates the shocking human, medical and political dimensions of Lyme disease, for his efforts to raise awareness for chronic Lyme disease. Leading Lyme-literate physician, Bernard D. Raxlen, MD, will receive the Humanitarian Award for his dedication to treating patients with tick-borne diseases, including Lyme.

"TTC is doing important work for the Lyme community, and has been a great force behind Under Our Skin," said Andy Abrahams Wilson. "Thanks to our joint efforts, the mainstream medical establishment can no longer ignore or marginalize chronic Lyme disease and its sufferers."


Andy is a featured expert in the LDRD's interview series.
Comments

Lyme patients take the fight to DC

A bill that would direct 20 million dollars toward Lyme disease research is being held up by committee. Lyme patients showed up by the dozens this week on Capitol Hill to show Congress that increasingly, people are exposed to serious tick-borne diseases and are in dire need of more doctors who are educated about Lyme disease treatment.

Joe LeBlanc, Director of the Central Virginia Chapter of the National Capital Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Association emailed an optimistic note yesterday from the Congressional Briefing. Joe reports that there was "standing room only" at the meeting, and despite the focus on the financial crisis, the briefing went very well. Now, we have to keep on top of our congressional representatives to keep up the momentum.

A big thank you to Joe and everyone who traveled to the Hill to speak up on all our behalf!


Comments

Send your doc to SF

When I was receiving Lyme disease treatment in California, where I lived at the time of my diagnosis, my family doctor was a naturopath who had studied with ILADS physician Dr. Raphael Stricker and others with CALDA. I was extremely fortunate to have his expertise as he helped me battle the fight of a lifetime. In turn, he said he felt lucky to have the expertise, experience, and excellence of these Lyme specialists behind him.

Your doctor doesn't have to live in California to attend. People from all over the country are planning to go. Help us spread the word about the CALDA Lyme conferences coming up in San Francisco. To sweeten the pot, here's a way for him or her to get reimbursed for a portion of the cost:

From the CALDA website:

CALDA will reimburse up to $800.00 out-of-pocket expenses for any actively practicing MD, DO, ND, NP or PA in any state to attend the annual conferences put on by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) and the Lyme Disease Association (LDA). CALDA grants are limited and are only available to those qualifying professionals who are attending the conferences for the first time. Preference will be given to persons currently engaged in treating tickborne infections and who plan to attend both conferences.


The 2008 ILADS and LDA conferences will be held on October 17 – 19 at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco. Please check the ILADS and LDA websites for details and to register at: www.ilads.org; www.lymediseaseassociation.org.
Comments

Deer ticks and other critters

"My dog has Lyme. Could I get it from her?"

No. If you are bitten by a tick, you may get Lyme. Your dog cannot give it to you directly. However, you may both get it from the same infected tick. Being bitten by a tick that crawled onto you when you were snuggling or letting her sleep on your bed is more likely. Ticks don't jump, like fleas. They crawl.

These ticks and others can be vectors for Lyme and other bad diseases. Vector means they are animals that can carry disease to humans.

* Deer Tick (Ixodes scapularis)
* Western Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes pacificus)
* Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum)
* Avian Tick (Ixodes auritulus)

Search Term: Lyme disease tick.

According to Eva Sapi, PhD, biologist and director of the Lyme research program at the University of New Haven, Connecticut, the ticks collected in the NE region of the US this year have shown a higher percentage of Lyme infection than in the past. Not only are there greater numbers of ticks than in the past, they're also more likely to be carrying Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme bacteria.

Your dog, cat, or horse might inadvertently share a Lyme-infected tick with you. Do be careful and perform regular tick checks all over your body whenever you've spent time with them. If you rarely venture into the woods or onto the seashore without slathering your body with DEET, and make your kids stay in your own yard to play, you may not think you are putting yourself or your loved ones in harm's way. Unfortunately, it's tougher than that to steer clear of tick habitat. Lyme researchers tell me there are plenty of ticks in our own yards, not just in the wild. Where we live in North Carolina, deer regularly walk along the side fence, where they're nicely hidden by the dense woods in the lot next door. I only spot them when I'm spacing out while staring past my computer monitor, out the office windows. One time I thought I saw a whole section of tree branches move away from the tree. On closer inspection, I realized with a start that I had been looking at a beautiful buck with a giant rack. Deer are survivors. They are excellent at adapting to living in urban areas, and they are often covered in ticks.

I'd love to have a yard full of guinea fowl, who find ticks a tasty treat to eat. However, they're super noisy and I'm afraid they'd drive me and the neighbor, who is also a writer and works at home, batty with their cry.

Tell me what you do to avoid (or control) ticks?
Comments

Lyme is weird, spirochetes are crafty!

Lyme is weird. Spirochetes are crafty. Lyme disease symptoms can look different in everyone, because infection can occur in any system of the body. Some people never see a tick, yet they develop symptoms, go to the doctor and get antibiotics. Others can't persuade their doctors to even test for Lyme -- even if they caught the nasty little tick in the act, and display the classic symptom of a bull's eye rash. A significant number of people don't read their own symptoms right (like I said, Lyme is weird. Who can blame them for not suspecting it?) Therefore, they may not discover they've got Lyme (if they're 'lucky' enough to test positively for it) until the disease has reached the late stage. By then, according to some Lyme literate docs, the bug is very tough to catch, and v-e-r-y resistant to being killed.

What if, even after you test positively, and your doc is ready to treat you, you're turned down by your insurance company? And anyway, let's not pretend that only people with health insurance get Lyme disease. What do you do when you're sick and you're not insured? It's no secret that antibiotics are prohibitively expensive. Some herbal treatments that appear to be quite effective are less so, but if you aren't able to afford to see a Lyme literate doc in the first place, where does that leave you?

That leaves you right where untold numbers of struggling sick people find themselves: On your own. Left to your own devices. And here's the rub: Lyme brain! Anybody with this disease understands what a cruel joke the universe seems to have played. At the very moment you need your mind the most, your critical thinking faculties are all fogged up. What's a Lymie to do? Find smart people who've been down this path and ask a bazillion questions. Here's a shameless plug for our 'Interviews with Experts' series. Tune in and listen up. We've all got a lot to learn.
Comments

Spring Cleaning Helps Prevent Lyme

'Spring' and 'cleaning' are two concepts that fit together just right. Ticks that carry Lyme disease do not like clean spaces. Thoroughly cleaning both indoors and outdoors around your house or property can help you feel more protected against ticks. Wild animals are potential carriers of ticks and Lyme. Mice, skunks, squirrels, opossums, feral cats and dogs who roam around looking for a snug hideaway in the cold may squeeze through crawl spaces in your attic or basement.

With the vernal equinox now three weeks away, it's time to bring out the buckets and brooms. While you're sprucing up, keep the following three steps in Lyme prevention in mind.

* Deny access to host critters. Replace torn screens on vents and windows. Plug holes in walls with caulk or concrete. Reduce the gap in doorway thresholds.



* Sanitize your indoor space. Clean floors and carpets, thoroughly clean area rugs and upholstered furniture. Toss out infested pet bedding.



* Clean up your outdoors space. Remove all debris such as leaf and wood piles. Steam or vacuum spider nests.


Peppermint soap is reported to be a strong natural insect repellent. Use it in your daily shower and also while cleaning up your pet's bedding. While cleaning outdoors, always wear protective clothing and take extra precautions against the creatures, such as snakes and insects, that you may stir up. A little Lyme disease prevention goes a long way as anyone with Lyme disease symptoms now knows.
Comments