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Doubled! In just 20 years!! The number of counties where blacklegged ticks, the kind that carry Lyme disease, have taken up residence. There aren’t many states left that are not affected by ticks.

What to do?

Wear Insect resistant clothing-permethrin is an odorless, bug repelling shield for clothing that protects the wearer for up to 70 washings. You can purchase clothing already treated with permethrin at stores like REI or  LL Bean or you can send off your own clothing to get treated.  Or you can DIY with a special laundry detergent that will last 5-6 washes.

Protect your yard-2 treatments work best-one in May and one in June. Then another in October when the adults emerge. You want to use products with bifenthrin or permethrin as the active ingredients and the treatment can be sprayed on or in granular form can be spread like your weed and feed.

To remove a tick properly you will need pointy end tick removing tweezers. Ticks are very small. Household tweezers are just too big to do the job. To be a pro watch this U-Tube Video: http://www.tickencounter.org/prevention/how_to_remove_a_tick_video

After you remove the tick look for symptoms of Lyme disease. A rash is most commonly the first symptom, sometimes looking like a target (circle in a circle) and can be as wide spread as 12 inches usually with no pain or itching. This is usually followed by flu like symptoms, chills, fever, headache, stiffness. Joint pain and swelling, heart palpitations even loss facial palsy. Shooting pains, numbness, tingling.

Lyme is an infection. It is treated with antibiotics such as doxycycline, amoxicillin or cefuroxime for up to 3 weeks and in 90% of cases this cures the disease.

To learn more go to the University of Rhode Islands site http://www.tickencounter.org/

 


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