Last Updated on January 2, 2021 by Lori Geurin
Knowing how to prevent Lyme disease is key. The best way to prevent Lyme is to avoid outdoor spaces where deer ticks live and breed. This includes tall grass, brush, and forest areas. But for many of you, that isn’t realistic, or even what you want to do. And I understand that; I don’t want to spend my life indoors either.
The CDC recently reported that in recent years there has been a dramatic increase in vector-borne diseases (VBD), and the most prevalent is Lyme disease. Covering this story, the New York Times stated,
“The number of people getting diseases transmitted by mosquito, tick and flea bites has more than tripled in the United States in recent years.”
So for you who like to venture out and explore this great big world, it is essential to know how to protect yourself from ticks.
(Want our FREE Lyme disease download that’ll give you the signs, symptoms, and stages of Lyme? Simply click the link below for the printable PDF.)
How You Can Prevent Lyme Disease
1. Wear light-colored clothing.
This makes ticks easier to spot so you can get rid of them before they reach your skin.
2. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
Button all the buttons so sleeves are tight around the wrists.
3. Tuck pants into long socks and boots.
This prevents ticks from crawling up your legs.
4. Stay in the middle of trails.
5. Maintain your yard and keep the grass cut and hedges trimmed.
Here is a great article to help you tick-proof your yard.
6. Spray your clothing and shoes with tick repellent.
Typically I recommend natural products, but you have to weigh the benefits and risks here. Everyone has their own opinion about it so you must decide what works best for you.
In the past, I’ve made my own essential oil mosquito and tick repellents and tried a variety of natural commercial repellents, and personally haven’t found them to be as effective. I don’t like suggesting the use of chemicals – ever.
But, as someone who gets eaten up by every bug within a 5-mile radius (seems like it anyway), I’ve had to lower my expectations in this area.
Perhaps I haven’t found the right natural product that works for me yet. If you have, that’s great. Please share what works for you in the comment section below.
But, based on my situation, I’ve come to the following conclusion: Because I contracted Lyme twice, I want to reduce the chances of ever getting it again. And, of course, I want to protect my family.
I recently overcame my fear of going into my backyard again. And trust me, the fear is real. Ask anyone with chronic Lyme. Plus, when you have children to protect you want to do everything you can to protect them.
Currently, I use a Deet Repellent when I’m in areas known to have high tick populations. Even though I don’t like the chemicals, I hate the Lyme more.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a handy online tool to help you select the repellent that is best for you and your family. I also ordered an Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus repellent for a more natural option to repel mosquitoes when I’m not in tick-infested areas.
You can find it here: Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent.
Like I said earlier, I typically recommend natural products. So if you’re wanting to go all-natural the next tip is for you. Just keep in mind that this option may not be as effective as some of the chemical options available on the market today.
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7. Use essential oils.
Some essential oils that may deter ticks include lemon, citronella, eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, tea tree, geranium, catnip, clove, and lavender.
Essential oils are quite potent, so mix a few drops with a carrier oil (such as coconut, jojoba or olive) and apply to your skin. Or, you may prefer to make your own tick spray.
The following video shows how to make an essential oil tick spray using only 3 ingredients.
8. Check your body for ticks.
Especially after spending time outdoors. And especially if you have a pet that lives indoors.
Use a full-length mirror to check your entire body, taking special care to check the warmest areas, including:
- under the arms
- under where elastic clothing straps have been
- inside the belly button (yep, even there)
- the scalp and your hair
- behind the knees
- inside the elbows
- between the legs
- around the waist
- inside and around the ears
9. Check your clothing for ticks.
Put clothes in the dryer on high heat to kill ticks.
10. Check your pets for ticks.
Remove any ticks that you find. Also, ask your vet for tick prevention ideas.
Keep reading to learn how to deal with ticks you find on yourself, other family members or pets.
How To Remove An Embedded Tick
Don’t squeeze or squash the tick. Also, don’t burn it or cover it with petroleum jelly.
First, use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull the tick straight out.
Then disinfect the entire area.
Save the tick in a ziplock bag or bottle for testing. Label the bag with your name and the date you removed the tick, the site of the tick bite, and how long you believe the tick was attached.
You can learn about free tick testing here.
Over the next few days and weeks watch for symptoms of Lyme disease. If you develop rashes or flu-like symptoms do not overlook them. Go to the doctor and report the tick bite and symptoms right away. Timing is essential here.
You can find a Lyme Literate Doctor in your area through this link.
Summary: Ways To Prevent Lyme Disease
Lyme disease has now been reported in all 50 states. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to protect yourself from ticks, Lyme disease, and other tick-borne diseases. As mentioned above, wearing long pants and boots, staying in the middle of trails, and avoiding tall grass, shrubs, and forest areas are key to prevention.
Practicing these tips will help you avoid this potentially debilitating disease and maintain you health and vitality…which is what I hope for each one of you.
I hope this article has given you practical ways to prevent Lyme disease! X, Lori
What tips can you add to this list? Have you found a natural tick repellant that works for you?
Please share your comments and questions in the comment section below.
For more on Lyme disease, you’ll want to check out:
- Celebrities With Lyme Disease
- Is Chronic Lyme Disease Real? Part 1
- Lyme Disease Awareness
- Warning: Lyme Disease Is Spreading Faster Than AIDS
- 16 Vital Facts About Lyme Disease: A National Epidemic
- Living With Lyme Disease, Part 2
- 21 Simple Strategies To Fight Lyme Disease Naturally
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Finally, the information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem.