Ticks are a growing problem across much of the nation especially during the summer season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, preliminary results from three different evaluation methods suggest that the number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease each year in the United States is around 300,000. With the camping season upon us, we’re all gearing up for more time in the great outdoors.
It’s important for each of us to protect ourselves with the knowledge of how to prevent ticks. EPA recommends the use of the following Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices to manage ticks, thereby reducing the risk of tick-borne diseases:
What can you do to protect yourself?
- Wear clothing that keeps ticks from reaching your skin, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirt, hat, gloves, and boots. Cover boot lacings with duct tape.
- Apply an insect repellent that’s labeled to repel ticks.
- Try to avoid tick-friendly areas, such as tall grass and heavy vegetation.
- After being outdoors, shower immediately using a washcloth.
- Check yourself, your children and pets daily for ticks. Juvenile ticks can be as small as a poppy seed!
- More information may be found on the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/.
You can also reduce the number of ticks on your property by:
- Removing leaf litter, brush, and weeds at the edge of the lawn.
- Keeping grass mowed shorter than 3”.
- Creating a nine-foot buffer zone on trails frequented by deer.
- Trying to keep deer and other animals that carry ticks from areas frequented by people.
Where can ticks be found?
- Different tick species can be found in different parts of the United States. Learn more about the geographic distribution of tick species.
- Ticks can be in your backyard, in soccer fields, along trails, parks, and other outdoor areas.
- Ticks can also be carried into your home by your pet.
- CDC has reported seven tick species in the United States with 11 reported pathogens that have the potential to cause tick-borne disease. There are approximately 80 tick species in the United States.
Let’s keep the summertime a healthy time by protecting yourself, your children and pets against ticks and tick-borne diseases.
|The is an excerpt adapted from the article, “Camping Health and Safety Tips and Packing Checklist.” For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov.