May is Lyme Awareness Month and while things seem a little different this year, one thing remains the same, ticks are out, active and aren’t going anywhere any time soon! This past winter was very mild, therefore ticks are already out and about, and are looking for their first meal of the season and we don’t want any co-infections with COVID-19 and Lyme disease. While you are all out walking and hiking during the next several months, remember that unlike us, ticks are NOT adhering to the “social distancing rules.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported in the United States, but an estimated 300,000 people are diagnosed annually. Studies show that 20-50% of the ticks on the East End of Long Island are infected with Lyme disease and 70% of all people who are diagnosed are bitten in their own yard! Brian Kelly, local tick expert, and owner of East End Tick & Mosquito Control® has put together a list of tips for East End residents to consider when going outdoors to limit the risk of contracting a tick-related illness.
How To Protect Yourself Against Ticks and Tick Bites
- Spray monthly between the months of April – October to control ticks on your property.
- Ticks are everywhere! Always use a repellent when going outdoors and ALWAYS check yourself afterward. Pro tip: Have someone else check your back and areas you can’t see!
- Put a fence around your yard to help keep deer and other animals out of your yard.
- Keep your pets confined to your landscaped lawn and never allow them to enter the woods and use a tick repellent such as Frontline. If you travel with your pet, make sure you check them VERY carefully afterward.
- Teach your kids about the dangers of going into the woods and uncharted territory. Get them into the routine of checking themselves after being outdoors and ALWAYS check them yourselves.
- Buy a tick removal kit and keep it handy at all times and learn how to properly remove a tick.
- Keep your grass cut short and don’t over-water your plants and shrubs! Ticks are attracted to long grass and cool damp areas.
- Ivy and other sorts of ground cover are tick hot spots, avoid them at all times.
- As part of your spring yard clean-up, eliminate tick habitat by raking and removing leaves that have blown into your yard edges and under shady vegetation.
- Perform tick checks twice a day, once at night and then again the following morning.
- Tuck your pants into your socks and spray both your skin and clothing with repellent before going outdoors.
- When coming in from the outdoors, put your clothes in the dryer and on high heat for at least 15 minutes.
Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Another way to protect yourself and your family from these diseases is to sign up for the newest service from East End Tick Control®, a granular winter tick-control treatment called Tick Shield. This clay-coated, encapsulated acaricide (tick-killing chemical) is applied monthly from December through March. Please visit our page on granular treatment for more information.
Brian Kelly believes that “prevention is better than a cure” and says to take a proactive approach when it comes to tick safety. “The risk of contracting a tick-borne illness, such a Lyme disease becomes progressively worse year after year. It’s important that you take the right steps to help keep yourself and your family safe, especially with the risk of co-infections with COVID-19 this year.”
Early stages of Lyme disease can include a “bull’s eye” like a rash for up to 60% of Lyme cases but the remainder show no rash at all! Other symptoms can include chills, fever, fatigue, headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle, and joint pain. If left untreated, Lyme can lead to serious medical complications such as arthritis, heart and nervous disorders, Bell’s Palsy, miscarriages, stillborn births, meningitis, numbness, pain, and other neurological damage. If you experience any of these symptoms after finding a tick, contact a physician immediately!
If you’re looking for a tick control company for your property, call the tick control experts at East End Tick Control® today at 631-287-9700 and get a free estimate today!