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.