Lyme Disease Awareness Refresher

by Jane Ahrens

After a mild 2022-23 winter, experts are warning of an especially bad tick season in 2023.
Fishers Islanders have already reported tick bits this spring.

Tick Awareness and Lyme Disease Prevention

Please read the short reminder which includes useful information including this:

Preventing tick bites

As reported in The Suffolk Times, Dr. Wellins said to “take the time out to protect yourself.” She outlined a list of tips:

  • Wear long pants and long sleeves, which will also help with sun protection (but be careful to stay hydrated).
  • Bug repellent or lemon eucalyptus oil on arms, legs, neck area — anywhere that’s exposed.
  • Wear light-colored clothing and avoid sandals.
  • Wear tight socks over your pants. “Not very fashionable, but it does work.”
  • Wear rubber boots or waders in the garden.
  • If you’re routinely outside, treat your clothes with permethrin (or buy pre-treated garments). You should do this outside, so there’s good ventilation. Very important: Do not apply permethrin to skin. Effective for limited washings. Only apply to fabric (sneakers maybe, but not boots).
  • Sometimes rolling a lint roller when you’re outside will catch ticks before they have a chance to get under your clothing.
  • When you come in from outside, put your clothing in the dryer — the high heat will kill ticks on the clothing. Do this before washing, which ticks can survive.
  • Take a shower after you’re outside and then do a tick check. “They like to attach to warm, dark places, like behind the knee, and the groin area, or the lower back, under the arms and sometimes the neck area.” Daily checks are important.
  • Have your property treated for ticks by a professional. Dogs and other pets could be potential carriers.

If you find one on your body, remove it immediately using fine-nosed tweezers or an equivalent, and get as close to the head as possible. Pull it out straight up and use alcohol to disinfect the area afterward. “There’s a lot of old wives’ tales that we tell people never to use” — do not use petroleum or a lighted match. Not only could you hurt yourself, but the tick may regurgitate the contents of its stomach, potentially accelerating the transmission of pathogens. After you pull it off, put it in a sealed, clear bag and take a picture. Enlarge the photo to identify the tick.

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay. Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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