By Alex Laoch
Researchers from Texas A&M, the University of Texas, and Texas State University conducted a study that proves Lyme disease is now endemic (prevalent in populations) 1 to Texas!2 It is one of the fastest growing epidemics, and the CDC estimates there are at least 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease reported every year.3 Lyme disease and other tick borne illnesses can be devastating and have debilitating effects on one’s health.
It is imperative you do everything you can to protect yourself and loved ones from tick bites.
METHODS TO HELP AVOID TICK BITES 4,5
- Avoid paths that contain tall grass or underbrush. Ticks are usually found less than three feet above the ground in such areas, but they can climb up bushes and trees. Walk in the middle of trails.
- Wear insect repelling clothing.
- Use tick repellant with DEET frequently.
- Spray permethrin on your clothing and equipment (backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, blankets, etc.). Do not spray it on your skin. Permethrin can usually be found on Amazon.com
- Wear light colored clothes. This will help you see larger ticks.
- Wear long sleeves and pants (if weather permits).
- Tuck your pants into your socks, but only if your clothes are treated with permethrin; otherwise, ticks are likely to crawl up your clothes in search of exposed skin. 6
- Do not sit directly on the ground. Use a blanket treated with permethrin.6
- Put your hair in a ponytail or up do. Wear a hat. 6
- Check your entire body for ticks, including inside small crevices such as your belly button and ears. Check your scalp for ticks.
- Shower immediately after being outdoors.
- Check your pets for ticks on a daily basis.
- Use these tips when doing yard work and playing outside.
-REMEMBER, ticks are now proven to be prevalent in Texas!
-Be aware that ticks vary in size and can be as small as a poppy seed.
*This article is for informational purposes only and does not serve as medical and legal advice.
- Merriam-Webster Website. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/endemic Accessed August 3, 2016.
- Lyme Disease Bacteria Now Endemic To Texas; Likely To Stick Around Study Finds. Bio News Texas Web site. https://bionews-tx.com/news/2014/06/25/lyme-disease-bacteria-now-endemic-to-texas-likely-to-stick-around-study-finds/ Published June 25, 2014. Accessed July 30, 2016.
- Overview of Lyme Disease. Daniel Cameron, MD Web Site. http://danielcameronmd.com/understand-lyme-disease/ Published 2014. Accessed July 30, 2016.
- Lyme Disease – What is it? International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) Web Site. http://www.ilads.org/lyme/what-is-lyme-brochure.pdf Accessed July 30, 2016.
- Top Ten Tips To Prevent Chronic Lyme Disease. International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) Web Site. http://www.ilads.org/lyme/lyme-tips.php Accessed July 30, 2016.
- Prevention is Key! Maryland Lyme Web site. https://sites.google.com/site/marylandlyme/hunters-corner Accessed August 3, 2016.