Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Deer Ticks and You by Barb Maurais, Educational Resources, Mainely Ticks

Why should I be concerned about deer ticks? Deer ticks (black legged ticks) transmit Lyme disease. Co-infections including Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Bartonella and other diseases can also be transmitted from the bite of a single deer tick. The longer the tick is attached, the greater the risk of contracting Lyme or other tick-borne illnesses.

Who is likely to come into contact with deer ticks? Hikers, gardeners, children, golfers or anyone who spends time outside in Maine may encounter deer ticks.

Where are deer ticks found? Deer ticks require a damp, humid environment to survive and live in wooded areas and forest edges. They like the damp, humid conditions found in leaf litter. Overgrown fields, rock walls, wood piles, and shaded ground cover plants provide additional tick habitat.

Personal Protection Strategies When walking through tall grass or leaf litter, wear light colored clothing. Pretreat clothing with 0.5% permethrin, which will repel and kill ticks on contact. Apply insect repellent containing 25% DEET to exposed skin.
Daily tick checks reduce you and your family’s risk of contracting Lyme and associated diseases. Check yourself, your pets and children after outdoor activities.

How can I reduce my chances of encountering a tick? Make your yard less tick friendly by cleaning up your property and keeping your lawn mowed. Remove brush and leaf litter. Keep children’s play areas in the sun and away from the wooded edge.
Ticks are less likely to thrive in sunlit areas.

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