With the return of warmer weather you’ll want to spend more time enjoying the outdoors. More time outside though, can mean an increased chance of contact with an unwelcome resident of the Lake Champlain Basin – ticks.
Aside from being unpleasant, ticks are dangerous due to the diseases that they can transmit. Lyme disease is among the more dangerous of tick-borne diseases. Because tick are most active during warm months, tick-borne illnesses are most often transmitted from early spring to late fall.
There are six tick species known to bite humans in the Lake Champlain region, and five can transmit diseases. But nearly all tick-borne diseases reported are caused by the blacklegged tick, also known as the deer tick.
4 Tips to be Tick Smart
Here are four recommendations to make you tick smart and decrease your risk of infection.
Use an EPA-approved tick repellent on skin.
- Apply permethrin to clothing.
- Wear light-colored pants and long sleeves.
- Check daily for ticks on yourself, your children and pets.
- Shower soon after spending time outdoors.
- Use tweezers to remove tick, do not scrape it off.
- Wash hands and bite area with soap and water.
- Put clothing in dryer on high heat setting for 10 minutes.
- Watch for symptoms of tick-borne diseases (fever, muscle aches, fatigue and joint pain).
- About 70% of people with Lyme disease develop a rash.
- If you display any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider.
* Avoid folklore remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible–not wait for it to detach.