Last year, in the middle of June, I sent out a blog post about the need to protect you and your family against tick bites and how to prevent them.
The information I presented was very detailed. However, I was driving home from work the other day and the CBC had a feature on about Lyme Disease.
Whereas last year the BC Centre for disease control stated:
There is only a very small chance of ticks transmitting Lyme disease to humans. However, the disease can be serious, so it is worth taking steps to avoid being bitten.
This year the news is different. The CBC reports:
Lyme disease increase alarms Canada’s top doctor. The more people who are infected, the more cases of severe outcomes will occur. (report link )
It seems that climate change is expanding the geographical presence of infected ticks and thus increasing the likelihood of contracting Lyme Disease.
The information I gave you last year is still accurate, but I want to update you on some of the new information I have found.
There are now more specifics now about checking everyone over for ticks.
Remember to check all these areas:
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around the hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
It’s also recommended that if anyone in your family has long hair that it be pulled back and tied to prevent ticks from hiding in the loose long hair.
Another consideration is making the area around your house as tick free as possible: This is from the Center for Disease Control:
Reduce Ticks in Your Yard
- Modify your landscape to create Tick-Safe Zones. Regularly remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around homes, and place wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to keep ticks away from recreational areas, and keep play areas and playground equipment away from away from shrubs, bushes, and other vegetation.
- Discourage deer. Removing plants that attract deer and constructing physical barriers may help discourage deer from entering your yard and bringing ticks with them.
Prevent Ticks on Animals
Use tick control products to prevent family pets from bringing ticks into the home. Tick collars, sprays, shampoos, or “top spot” medications should be used regularly to protect your animals and your family from ticks. Consult your veterinarian and be sure to use these products according to the package instructions. For more information on animals and health, see Preventing Ticks on Your Pet.
There is also more discussion about insect repellants for children. Deet is the most effective, but there are serious concerns about its safety for children. There is now more talk about using Picaridin, a chemical that is about as effective as Deet, but much safer for children.
Natural tick repellants can also be effective. After hearing the CBC report, I have been doing lots of research on the most effective natural, baby safe repellants, and will let you know the outcome of my research.
And please read last year’s blog for more information. Tick Talk: how to remove ticks and prevent Lyme Disease
I know tick safety isn’t the most thrilling of topics, but being outdoors is so important for everyone’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. Preventing Lyme Disease just has to be up there with general outdoor safety, like sun and bug protection.
Spend as much time outdoors as you can, but please be sure to do it safely and consciously.