Prepare Your Home:
-Clear bushes and wild grass away from areas where people and pets play so it’s harder for ticks (and rodents who carry them) to get to you.
-Don’t feed the animals. As cute as that deer who wanders through your yard is, it could be bringing ticks to you and your pets.
-Avoid standing water—it’s a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
-Set up some citronella candles.
-When do you need to be on guard? Dusk and Dawn, as well as anytime you’re in tall grass, leaf piles, or forests. Where are you most at risk? The East has the most Lyme Disease cases, although ticks elsewhere have other diseases. West Nile spreads a little bit further each year, and CHIK-V is popping up all over.
-The above are all horrible places/times to exercise, since exercising will make you sweat and raise your body temperature, making you more attractive food.
-Wear long sleeves and pants if you’re hiking, then follow up with a tick check when you get home.
-Consider a diet change. Bananas might make you more attractive to mosquitoes, and a daily dose of Vitamin B might make you less attractive.
-Apply bug spray correctly:
-Get the right kind—some are more for mosquitoes, some for ticks, some for both. You can even avoid harsh chemicals and get, or make, a natural one. Ingredients include: citronella oil, clear vanilla extract, and cinnamon leaf oil mixed with olive oil. In fact, they’re even more effective than DEET.
-Be thorough (and here’s another reason to wear long pants and sleeves—to protect skin from needing sprayed!)
-Do tick checks after every outing—and look for mosquito bites, too. Ticks need to be removed, and confirming a bite can be important to a later diagnosis.
-Don’t forget pets: outdoor pets can bring ticks inside.
Share your thoughts in the comments: