For a few years now, Lyme disease has been affecting more and more Canadians. This disease is transmitted by the bite of ticks infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.
Like many others, you probably wonder why we only started hearing about it a few years ago. One of the reasons is ticks have become accustomed to our milder and increasingly shorter winters. Also, recognizing the disease has triggered a fear that it might be present in our environment.
It is essential to take prevention measures to protect yourself and your family.
1. Reduce the presence of ticks around your home
Maintain your yard by cutting tall grasses and brush around your home. Ticks love to hide in tall grasses, so cutting them will make your yard less attractive.
Set up play sets and playgrounds away from trees, in a sunny spot, and spread wood chips on the ground. Store fire wood carefully in a dry and sheltered spot. Treat your entire yard with a liquid insecticide. Also, using an insect growth regulator will help minimize breeding and reduce the risk of an infestation.
2. Stay on the paths when taking a walk
If you enjoy taking a walk in the woods, stay on paths that have no vegetation. Ticks prefer humid environments and places where the vegetation is thick. They tend to hang around tall grasses and shrubs.
3. Choose proper clothes
Choose light-colored clothes, as they make it easier to spot a tick. Tuck your sweater in your pants, and your pants in your socks or boots. Wear long sleeves and closed shoes.
4. Use a mosquito repellent
To be effective, your mosquito repellent must contain DEET or icaridin. It is important to read the label carefully before buying, as not all insect repellents protect against ticks.
Always follow the instructions and recommendations on the product's label.
5. Inspect your person and material after an outdoor activity
Upon your return, it is important to inspect all of your material, such as your coat and backpack, to avoid taking a tick indoors with you.
Take a shower, inspect your person carefully and wash your clothes as soon as you come back. Dry your clothes on high heat for at least 6 minutes, and do not forget to inspect your cat or dog as well.