Autumn Doesn’t Mean Tick Season Is Over by Lisa Y. Mitchell
By now, almost everyone knows someone who has had experience with Lyme disease. For many of us, it’s hit our own family and doesn’t always leave as fast as it showed up. There are a high number of misdiagnosed cases due to lack of Lyme symptom awareness and inaccurate testing. This has left many of us in a state of less than perfect health, and it can seriously affect our daily lives.
We tend to think we shouldn’t have to worry so much about preventing tick bites with the cooler autumn weather, but there still is a risk in the fall. Ticks are most active from March through mid-May and then again from mid-August through November. Any type of tick can carry one or more of several vector-borne illnesses, including Lyme Borreliosis, and other bacteria, parasites and viruses.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind
• Remove dry leaves and yard debris from edges of yard and around stone walls and wood piles
• Discourage rodent activity around home and seal up small holes. Field mice that gain access to homes are a common way to bring ticks inside
• Keep grass mowed
• Create a 3 foot wide mulch barrier to wooded areas
• Keep pets away from wooded areas and shrubs
• Use natural tick repellants or Neem oil
• Use DEET carefully and sparingly on the outside of shoes and clothing, not on skin
If you find a tick on your skin, do not squeeze the body of tick as this will increase chance of transmitting disease. Also, do not put nail polish remover or alcohol or a hot match on the tick as these may increase disease transmission. A tick only should be removed with tweezers or a tick removing tool. Grasp the tick as close to skin as possible and pull in a steady upward motion. Be sure to wash with an antiseptic cleanser after removal.
Always remember to check yourself and others before bed as prevention always is best.
Lisa Y. Mitchell is a nutritional counselor and certified gluten practitioner and the owner of Down 2 Earth, a 100% dedicated gluten-free health food store located at 1 Meadow Rd. in Florida. She can be reached at 508-6755 or Down2EarthMarket.com.