Day 15: What You Need to Know

Pacific Coast ticks. Photo source: goingslo, Flickr, Creative Commons.

Pacific Coast ticks. Photo source: goingslo, Flickr, Creative Commons.

1. When hiking, try to stick to trails and avoid walking through low bushes and long grass. Avoid tick-infested areas, such as leaf litter under trees. Don’t sit on stumps or fallen logs.
 
2. Try to wear long pants, long sleeves, a hat and gloves. Tuck your pants into your socks.
 
3. Always do a body check after coming in from the outdoors.
 
4. Throw your clothes in the dryer as soon as you come into the house.
 
5. Shower immediately after throwing your clothes in the dryer.
 
6. When finished, do a second tick check.
 
7. If bitten, remove a tick as soon as possible with sharp-tipped tweezers. Gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Don’t squeeze or crush the tick, but pull carefully and steadily. Once you’ve removed the entire tick, apply antiseptic to the bite area.
 
removing tick
 
8. Save the tick, seal it in a plastic bag with moist cotton and send it out to Igenex to be tested.
 
9. Do your best to tick-proof your yard. Keep grass short. Clear brush and leaves where ticks live. Use an edger to create a barren zone around your yard. If you must have a woodpile, keep it in a sunny area.
 
10. Flulike symptoms in the summer are typically not the flu. If you are experiencing them, get to the doctor immediately to make sure it is not Lyme disease.
 
11. If you suspect you have Lyme disease, ask your to diagnose you clinically and not to rely on the presence or absence of a bulls-eye rash or positive Elisa and Western Blot tests. These tests are too insensitive to be the deciding factor and thus a negative test does not ensure one does not have Lyme disease.
 
12. If he/she does a test, ask him to do a Western Blot test from the California-based company called Igenex rather than the typical mardx marblot Western Blot.
 
 
Read the following article to see what bug sprays Consumer Reports recommends. The Best Bug Sprays