Every month should be Lyme and Tick Borne Disease Awareness Month. Sadly, this is a spreading disease in Vermont and ticks can be out and alive in all kinds of weather because they have warm bodied hosts like deer and mice to keep them warm. While we stop feeding birds because of the bears, it is a good idea also not to give ticks a free air-ticket to some other part of the world. Yup, they hop on board!
Nymphs are the size of poppy seeds and thorough tick checks, a shower, clothes in the dryer are all good practices after gardening and cleaning up your lawn. Check the kids and teach them to check themselves and each other. Your pets can also be protected and checked. If they have ticks, you have ticks.
Permethrin may be sprayed ON clothing to dry and is good for 2-4 weeks; one can buy clothing with permethrin in the material; “lemon-eucalyptus oil” products can be use on the skin; deet can be used on clothing; picaridin can be used on exposed skin and clothing; BioUD is new and can be used on clothing; rose geranium essential oil may also be a tick repellent. Research and follow application directions for all, especially with kids!
Make May ONE of your Lyme awareness months. For more info about Lyme disease and prevention visit www.lymepa.org or www.lymediseaseassociation.org. If you know someone ill with lyme, give them a hand, because their battle is a serious one. Vermonters have a couple of support groups and you can find out more about them at www.VermontLyme.com