Lyme disease is on the rise in the U.S., concentrated in the Northeast and upper Midwest (check out the CDC map of reported cases below). If you live or travel to these areas you’ll want to know how NOT to get Lyme disease while still enjoying the great outdoors!
- WEAR LONG SLEEVES AND PANTS – light colors are best!
- WASH EVERY PIECE OF CLOTHING AFTER COMING INSIDE – ticks can survive on clothing and attach to you later on!
- CHECK THE WHOLE FAMILY FOR TICKS AT THE END OF EACH DAY – this means all the nooks and crannies – ticks can hide in underwear lines, belly buttons, behind the ears and more!
- KNOW WHAT A TICK LOOKS LIKE – they’re sneaky, sticky, and teeny! If you find one, pluck it with a tweezer; don’t squish it with your hands. Look online for where to bring the tick tested – not every tick is infected and you’ll want know!
- WHILE OUTDOORS TRY TO AVOID HIGH GRASS, HEAVILY LEAVED WOODS, AND SITTING OR LEANING ON STONE WALLS – these are where ticks tend to live when they aren’t on deer or other animals.
Lyme disease, if left untreated, can cause serious problems for the rest of of your life – from neurologic issues to heart arrhythmias. No one wants that, of course, but we also want to join the beautiful outdoors in the warmer weather!
Know the facts so you aren’t afraid to get out there and enjoy!