According to the Centers for Disease Control, Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases make hundreds of thousands of people sick every year, and the numbers are growing at an alarming rate. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne infection in the United States with children between the ages of 5 to 14 being especially hard-hit. They are at the highest risk for tick-borne illnesses.
To protect yourself, your family, and pets from tickss:
· Evaluate your property (or hire a professional lawn care or landscape firm to do so) and determine if you have areas where ticks may hide.
Trim low-lying bushes to let in as much sunlight as possible. This will help keep your yard from becoming a shelter for small mammals that may act as a host for ticks.
· Remove woodpiles, brush, leaves, and debris.
· Keep grassy areas mowed (ticks like to hide in tall grass).
· Fence off hedgerow areas so children and pets cannot access them.
· Check pets regularly for ticks (horses and dogs can also get Lyme disease and dogs and cats can carry ticks into your home).
· Be sure to check yourself and family members for ticks each time you go outside.
· Wear light colored socks and pants to help spot ticks.
· Tuck your pants into your socks.
· Talk to your lawn care or landscape professional about spraying areas with high concentrations of ticks.
· Use tick repellent.
Lyme disease can mimic many diseases, including multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Most cases of Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics, especially if treatment begins early in the course of illness. However, a small percentage of patients with Lyme disease have symptoms that can last for months or even years. For more information about geographic incidence or the efficacy of repellents, visit the Lyme Disease Association, Inc., lymediseaseassociation.org.