10 tips to protect against Lyme disease
1. Dress the part
Wear long, light-coloured clothing. This way, ticks will be more visible.
Finish off with a hat and closed shoes.
In order to keep your skin as covered as possible, tuck your shirt into your pants and tuck your pants into your socks or shoes.
2. Must-have: bug spray
Apply an insect repellent containing DEET, Icaridin or Permethrin to your clothes and exposed skin (except the face).
Follow the instructions on the product label.
These products are available in pharmacies, outdoor retailers and some travel health clinics.
3. On the lookout for ticks
Carefully inspect your clothing and equipment after outdoor activities to avoid bringing ticks into the house where they can bite someone or a house pet.
4. Wash well
Take a bath or shower within 2 hours of an outdoor activity to check for ticks.
Check the following areas:
- Inside and around ears
- Belly button
- Behind knees
- Between legs
- Around waist
5. Animal inspection
Ticks love hitching a ride on cats and dogs. Always do a thorough examination of your fur babies before letting them back in the house to ensure they are not carrying unwanted guests.
Remove any ticks and consult a veterinarian after removal.
To help avoid this problem, you can give your dog a topical or chewable tick control product. Ask your vet for more information on this kind of medication.
6. Wash wash!
A 10-minute spin in the dryer on high heat gets rid of ticks stuck to your clothes.
Wash in hot water if you need to do a load, ideally for at least 40 minutes.
Then throw your clothes in the dryer on high heat for at least one hour until completely dry.
7. Stay on the trail
Walk on marked paths and avoid trekking through tall weeds where ticks love to take shelter.
They also like humid and leafy areas around waterways and wooded areas.
8. Tick-free zone around the house
Do your part and reduce tick habitats by doing the following:
- Mow the lawn and cut back tall weeds and shrubs around your house.
- Remove dead leaves and weeds on the lawn and around your property.
- Lay down mulch or gravel between wooded areas and the lawn, patio and play areas.
- Set up play areas in a sunny space away from trees.
- Store firewood in a dry, covered spot to keep away rodents that attract ticks. Do not leave old furniture lying around.
9. High-risk zones
Canada has monitored the spread of Lyme disease in recent years.
The government provides a Lyme disease risk area map and identifies risk areas across the country.
10. Act fast!
Immediately remove a tick if you find one attached to your skin.
Doing this within 24-36 hours will reduce your risk of contracting Lyme disease.
Read up on how to properly remove a tick.
Consult a health care professional as soon as possible.