Ticks carrying the lyme disease bacteria is on the rise, prevention is the key. Coming up next in today's health report, Marcie Fraser tells us what products that will help you prevent being bit by a tick.
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When it comes to tick season and being bit, your activities can increase your risk for being a target.
Lyme is on the rise. From 2001 to 2010, the number of cases in the US increased by approximately 6000. The first line of defense is what you wear.
"Wear light colored clothing. Tuck in pants into socks, long sleeve shirts,” said Sue Beebe, the Cornell Cooperative Extension Assistant Director.
Ticks don't jump or fly, they cling to brush. The live no more than 18 inches off the ground.
Beebe said, “They are hanging out on the plant material as you brush they come on to you, they hang on and move upward."
Treat your yard with pesticide, they come in the form of granular, dust or liquid but use caution not all are safe for kids or pets. For adults, pesticides like deet, can be very effective, no need for 100 percent deet, look for products that contain 20 to 30 percent strength and it can be applied directly to the skin but with precautions.
"If someone is applying exposed skin with a product, you want to make sure you are coming inside and washing very thoroughly before you add more, never re-apply to an area that has already been applied once by the product,” said Beebe.
Because deet has a chemical that breaks down plastic, be careful of personal items avoid spraying it on a watch, glasses or sun glasses that are made of plastic.
Picardin, similar to deet and won’t eat through plastic and is safe for clothing and camping gear. There is also permethrin, safe for clothing and stays on for several washing. If you do find a tick feeding on you, remove correctly.
"Using matches, Vaseline, credit cards, those are the things not to remove a tick,” said Beebe.
Use fine pointed tweezers to grab the tick at the base of the mouth, pull directly up and once the tick is removed use antiseptic.
"And if the mouth part is still there it's going to slough off on its own and the tick in not there to continue to feed, so it is not a problem,” said Beebe.