How to Avoid Tick Bites and the Spread of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is spread to humans by the bite of an infected, blacklegged tick. The disease affects approximately 300,000 people in the United States each year, with the most vulnerable population living in the mid-Atlantic and the upper Midwest states. Once infected, the disease weakens multiple organ systems in the body, including the nervous system, cardiovascular system, joints, and muscles.
So, how does deer fencing protect you against ticks? While deer do not transmit the disease-causing bacteria to the tick itself, they are a popular host for adult ticks to feed on and reproduce. Therefore, reducing the number of deer around your property with a deer fence, will likely reduce the amount of ticks and minimize your risks of contracting Lyme disease.
6 Ways to Prevent Lyme Disease
Fortunately, there are a number of proactive steps you can take to avoid tick bites. Here are 6 ways you can protect yourself and prevent the spread of Lyme disease:
- Avoid Tick Habitats: Avoid densely wooded and grassy areas where blacklegged ticks frequently inhabit. If you must pass through these high-risk areas, walk in the center of cleared pathways and stay away from tall bushes, trees, and other vegetation.
- Wear Defensive Clothing: If you are camping or planning on spending a prolonged period of time in a high-risk area, wear clothing that will cover any exposed skin. For instance, wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves. The color of your clothing also matters, as light colors will help you spot ticks before they become a problem.
- Use Repellent: A repellent that contains 20% or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 will help defend you against ticks. Spray this onto exposed skin, avoiding areas on the face and hands. Treat your clothing with the same care and spray them with a repellent containing permethrin. The repellent will remain active even through several washes but you can also purchase pre-treated clothing that will last even longer.
- Check for Ticks: Get into the habit of performing daily tick checks, especially if you spend the majority of your day outdoors. If you find ticks on your clothing, you can brush them off or use a fine-tipped tweezer to remove any that have already attached to your skin. Take a shower immediately after coming indoors and feel for any bumps. Pay special attention to areas under your arms, behind your knees, around your waist, and around your head.
- Protect Your Pets: Ticks can latch onto your pets and pose a threat to your health and safety. Your pet’s fur can act as a “tick magnet” and allow these pests to go undetected until it is too late and they have entered your home. Limit your pet’s access to high-risk areas around your yard and consult with a veterinarian about tick collars, topical treatments, and preventative oral medication.
- Install a Deer Fence: Ticks rely on deer as their main food source, therefore, it is important that you set up barriers around your living space to keep deer out. Remove any plants around the perimeter of your yard that may attract deer, and construct a deer fence to keep them from entering your property.
Choose Deer Fencers for professional deer fencing installation. Call us at (800)753-4600 today or contact us using our online form to learn about our tick control programs and we will be in touch with you soon.