Protecting Your Family From Ticks

Spending time outdoors is one of the summer activities families look forward to most, but with the outdoor fun comes a few new safety and health concerns. Just as it’s important to consider safe sun protection, protection from certain insects is a must.

21906 new dig camera pictures 146 225x300 Protecting Your Family From Ticks

Happy and Healthy 4th of July!  Let our children enjoy the summer by protecting them from harmful ticks and insects.

According to the CDC, Lyme disease is a particularly high risk in the Northeast, but appears commonly in any wooded areas. Public health consultant Bob Oley warns, “These microscopic bugs pose an enormous threat to our children, who are especially vulnerable during the summer months. It is imperative to educate ourselves about tick-borne diseases, and take the necessary precautions to protect our children from them.”

Ticks can appear in lawns, campgrounds, and even picnic tables. Clearly, summer camp is another high-risk area as kids are spending more time outside in these areas. Fortunately there are several ways to minimize exposure to a variety of deer ticks and reduce the risk of contracting Lyme disease and other severe bacterial infections.

  • Dress defensively. Mother Earth News advises, “When you venture into areas where ticks might be waiting, dress for the occasion. Wear a hat and light-colored clothing (to help you see ticks before they find skin), and tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks. You may look goofy, but it’s better than becoming a tick’s dinner.
  • Repel ticks. Use an insect repellent with nontoxic ingredients to ward off bug bites. The Daily Green shares a few quality products as well as essential oils that can deter ticks. For those of us who have experienced serious infections or have had family members hospitalized over a single bite try Permanone (active ingredient is Permethrin, I would not classify this as a green alternative but it works) which is available at many stores.  When Permanone is sprayed on clothes including underwear and socks, let it dry thoroughly, it will maintain it’s strength for up to 2 or 3 washes.  I recommend washing hands after handling these types of sprays.
  • Come clean. Immediately upon coming back inside, remove all clothing and place it in the dryer on high for 20 minutes, which will kill any ticks immediately – don’t forget to clean it out afterward! Do a thorough inspection of the body and remove any ticks – be sure to check hair really well, too!
  • Be aware of the symptoms. As scary as it sounds, there is a risk of getting Lyme disease and other bacterial infections if you venture outside in the summer! Be on the lookout for flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes – seek medical attention right away if these show up.
  • If you find a tick on your dog, do not burn it with a match or pull it out with tweezers, you are likely to leave the head inside and could cause infection and pain to the dog.  Place your finger on top of the tick and rotate your finger in a circular motion, in time the tick will get dizzy and pull out.  Sounds silly but it works.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

16 thoughts on “Protecting Your Family From Ticks

  1. Lyndie

    I remember being a leader at girl’s camp and warning all the girls to be on the look out for ticks, only to be the one that found one on herself! I am still alive and healthy! And all the girls got signed off on first aid for helping to remove it. (btw, it was on the back of my neck at the hairline.)

  2. Kimberly Schotz

    The information on how to remove a tick from your dog was very helpful. I have been doing it the wrong way.

  3. Kathy Lane

    Thanks for all the great tips on ticks.I had never heard of placing your finger on top of the ticks and rotating your finger in a circular motion before.I will try this the next time I find one on my pets.It seems like to me there is more ticks this year than before.We can hardly go out without getting at least one tick on us.

  4. Pamela Hallgan

    Ticks concern me, especially since I just learned there has been an increase in Lyme’s Disease cases. I try to keep my yard well groomed and I keep flea/tick repellant on our pets. I also use OFF on the kids when playing outside.

  5. ANN*H

    Thanks so much for your posting on ticks. This is what we need as for my grandson and their dog in the country. I have heard so many different way to pull off a tick but never the one about making it dizzy – very interesting – will have to try that way.

  6. Jill A. Collins

    I cannot even begin to tell you how very important this is. A few years back I was bit by a tick and spent 3 months in bed and I could not work for about 5 months. The medication they gave me left me permanently photo-sensitive, so now I have to be super careful any time I am in the sun. The year before our standard poodle had been bit by a tick and contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. A different tick disease than mine (there are thousands known that still have no name – I had a no name variety – it was not Lyme disease). Just remember that family includes our pets too!

  7. debbiedrdoormat Post author

    Hi Jill,
    My Dad was recently hospitalized for Lymes Disease and we thought he had a stroke. Once they knew it was a tick the Dr. thought it was the lone star tick but when the blood work came back it was confirmed it was Lymes. Nasty creatures had infected his body with a terrible bacterial infection. He was having trouble forming words and it effected his heart and muscle movement. Once they loaded him up with the right antibiotics and fluids he was back on his feet. At 88 years old he gave us a big scare. It shows us that armed with the right information you really can protect your loved ones, including our pets. Now my Dad’s doing great and staying away from ticks.

  8. Linda r

    Thank you for all of this information. My daughter had a tick (picked it up while we were hiking). Dang, that was the hardest thing to remove. We sure could have used this info. I have passed it along to family and friends.

  9. Cindy Brickley

    My brother and sister in law both got Lyme’s Disease at the same time last year. They live in wooded area with lots of deer. We also live in a wooded area with lots of deer and Elk. My husband is constantly removing ticks from his body (he always used tweezers) and they never seem to bother me. I started making a homemade flea and tick spray that works really well. Recipe: 8oz. apple cider vinegar – 40z. warm water – 1/2 tsp. salt – 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Mix dry ingredients first then slowly add the vinegar and water as the baking soda will react slightly. Put into a spray bottle and spray all over your pets and your body being careful not to get into eyes. And you can sprinkle borax all over your carpets and let set for a few hours, then vacuum. This will kill all the ticks and fleas in your house. Retreat as needed.

  10. Stephanie Bourne

    We like to go hiking on a local trail that is mostly wooded. The last time we went, everyone (5 of us), had a minimum of 5 ticks on us when we finished. Thanks for the post.

  11. Michelle Tucker

    Thanks so much for these tips! I had no idea a 20 minute cycle in the dryer would kill them!


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