- Lyme disease is caused by bacteria from tick bites; symptoms vary and can resemble flu-like illness.
- Prevention methods include maintaining a tick-unfriendly landscape, avoiding tick-infested areas, using DEET-based bug sprays, protecting pets, and checking for ticks on clothing and skin.
- Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for faster and better recovery; post-Lyme disease syndrome may occur if not treated promptly.
Lyme disease is an illness caused by bacteria transmitted through a tick bite. While not all tick bites will cause Lyme disease, some ticks are transmitters. Lyme disease is a very difficult disease to diagnose because the symptoms can vary wildly between sufferers. Most often the symptoms of Lyme disease are very flu-like in nature, including fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. This makes it easy to mistake symptoms for other illnesses besides Lyme disease. Prevention goes a long way in stopping Lyme disease, and these five methods can help you lower your risk of getting lyme disease.
Create a Landscape to Discourage Tick Infestations
To discourage ticks from your yard, make sure to keep grass short, leaves raked, and brush eliminated. Put down wood chips around recreational areas to prevent ticks from entering. You can also apply tick pesticide, such as bifenthin, to reduce the number of ticks in the yard.
Avoid Tick Areas
Avoid wooded areas during the heat of tick season, which is spring and summer. Ticks live in trees and in moist, shaded environments with lots of leaves and tall grass. They also live in areas with rodents and deer, since those are their primary food sources. If you go walking on wooded trails, make sure to stay in the center of the path, and don't explore the woods.
Repel Ticks from Biting
The best way to repel ticks is to use a bug spray with DEET in the formula. 20 to 30 percent of DEET in a can is enough to keep ticks away. When applying bug spray, avoid contact with the hands, eyes, and mouth. Children should never apply bug spray to themselves.
Protect Your Dog from Tick Bites
Ticks love dogs and having a pet will increase chances of them entering your home and your dog catching Lyme disease. Lyme disease is more potent to dogs and can even kill them. In the spring and summer, check your dog daily for ticks. There are many safe tick medicines to treat your dog's fur and skin with as well.
Check for Ticks When Home
Before you go out in a tick infested area, put on light-colored clothing so it is easier to spot them and pick them off. Check your body for ticks when you get home, especially warm areas like the inside of your elbows or your inner thighs. Use tweezers to pull a tick swiftly out. Avoid the other methods of tick removal, such as a hot match or petroleum jelly. It is okay if the head remains; the Lyme disease toxins are in his body.
If you are bitten by a tick, watch for the symptoms. If you begin to experience them, go to an urgent care location immediately.
If you are infected with Lyme disease, it is important that you receive an early diagnosis and treatment. Recovery will be faster and better if you catch the disease early on. You may suffer from post-Lyme disease syndrome after Lyme disease treatment. You will experience muscle aches and symptoms related to your nervous system. While most patients get better with time, it is best to try to avoid this lingering effect by preventing and treating Lyme disease immediately.
Frequently asked questions
What causes Lyme disease?Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that is transmitted through a tick bite.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?The symptoms of Lyme disease often resemble those of the flu, including fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue.
How can I prevent a tick infestation in my yard?To prevent a tick infestation, keep grass short, rake leaves, eliminate brush, and use wood chips around recreational areas. You can also apply tick pesticides, such as bifenthin.
What precautions should I take when in areas prone to ticks?Avoid wooded areas during tick season, which is in the spring and summer. If you do walk on wooded trails, stay in the center of the path and avoid exploring the woods.
What is the best way to repel ticks?The best way to repel ticks is to use a bug spray containing 20 to 30 percent DEET. Avoid contact with the hands, eyes, and mouth when applying.
How can I protect my dog from ticks?Check your dog daily for ticks during tick season. There are many safe tick medicines available to treat your dog's fur and skin.
What should I do if I find a tick on my body?If you find a tick on your body, use tweezers to pull it out swiftly. Avoid other methods such as a hot match or petroleum jelly. It is okay if the head remains as the Lyme disease toxins are in the tick's body.
What should I do if I suspect I have Lyme disease?If you suspect you have Lyme disease, watch for symptoms and seek medical attention immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment can lead to a faster and better recovery.