You can contract Lyme disease without ever knowing you were bitten by a tick. Ticks can release themselves after biting you.
Not everyone gets the “bullseye rash” that you’ve heard about. In fact, many don’t.
Depending on the expert you ask - regular doctor office Lyme disease tests can be false negative between 20 to well over 50% of the time.
Lyme disease is known as the “great imitator”. There are many other (some say over 100 other) symptoms than the flu-like symptoms and joint pain that you hear about.
A tick can be the size of a poppy seed. It is very important to keep that in mind when doing your tick checks.
Children are at a high risk for Lyme disease for several reasons. They do not just walk on grass. They crawl, play, and roll in the grass. Playgrounds, soccer fields, football fields, parks, etc. can have ticks. It is very important to always do thorough tick checks on children including their hair, behind their ears, and other hard to see areas.
You do not have to live in the country, or be an “outdoors person”, hiker or camper to contract Lyme disease. Ticks could be your suburban yard, your local park, and on your golf course. People who work outside are also at high risk - utility workers, construction workers, golf course attendants, landscapers, coaches, etc.
When possible - wear light-colored clothing, with your pants tucked into your socks, and use repellent.
Stay on walking paths and do not go into weeded or high grass areas.
Treat your clothing, shoes, and socks with Permethrin. Let them dry overnight before using. Spraying your shoes can last up to 6 weeks.
Spraying these items with Permethrin can provide a reduction in tick attachments.
Remove your clothing in your garage when coming from the outdoors.
Put your clothes in the dryer for 1 hour at high heat.
Pets can bring ticks into your home, which can in turn get on you and your family.
Talk to your veterinarian and make sure they are treated in order to repel and kill the ticks on your pet.
Minimize tick habitats by cutting your grass regularly, raking leaves, controlling weeds, and treating your lawn or using tick tubes.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE AN EMBEDDED TICK:
Remove the tick immediately.
Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
Pull the tick straight upward with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the remaining tick parts with tweezers.
After removing the tick do not crush it with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. OR - consider getting the tick tested! In addition to Lyme disease, there are many diseases that ticks can carry. There are a few reliable tick testing companies you can send your tick to and get a report from.