Summer isn’t too far off. People are spending more time outdoors – doing yardwork, or camping and hiking and enjoying the many outdoor activities California has to offer.
This also means the chances of encountering blood-sucking pests, like ticks – which latch onto to human or pet hosts – for feeding, are much greater.
Because ticks can transmit harmful illnesses like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the Clark Man encourages outdoor enthusiasts to take proper measures in an effort to avoid contact with these pests.
May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Recent research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease annually in the United States.
Ticks live in tall grass and wooded areas. They wait quietly at the tips of long blades of grass , and grab onto passing hosts to make contact for a blood meal. Anyone who spends time outdoors should be committed to protecting themselves against these pests. Although ticks are small in size, the diseases they can transmit via a bite are quite dangerous.
A recent survey from www.LymeDisease.org – a national organization that advocates for quality accessible healthcare for patients with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases – reported more than 40 percent of patients with chronic Lyme disease are currently unable to work, and 24 percent have received disability at some point during their illness.
The Clark Man recommends the following prevention tips to avoid the health threats associated with ticks:
- Always apply an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
- Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors. Choose light colored clothing that makes it easier to spot ticks and other insects.
- Keep grass cut low, as ticks are found in high grass. Remove weeds, woodpiles, and debris.
- Inspect yourself and your family members, as well as your pets, carefully for ticks after being outdoors. Ticks can hide in clothing and in the fur of your pets.
- Protect pets by reaching out to your local veterinarian. They usually offer a variety of products for protecting animals from tick-borne diseases.
- Place a barrier of wood chips or gravel between your lawn, patio, and play equipment and any wooded areas. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.
If you have questions about ticks or Lyme disease, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.