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Click this link: https://www.tickreport.com

Lyme disease is a lifelong game changer; the best defense is prevention. There are steps you should take and the information in this press release is inadequate. Here are some additional steps you should take to protect yourself.

1. Treat hiking/outdoor clothing, socks and shoes with PERMETHRIN. You can buy pretreated clothing (REI) or buy the .05% solution (Amazon) and treat your clothes yourself. This is an application for your clothing, not your skin. It is environmentally friendly, but when wet it kills cats. (Don't use the highly concentrated 10% versions as these are for agricultural use and have a petroleum base.) Professionally pretreated clothes last 70 washes, self-soaked only 6 weeks, so buying is best. I mark my treated clothes in a hidden area with an "X" so I know they are treated.

2. When you come indoors after your hike, immediately shower; the deer tick won't attach for 24 hours.

3. Strip off your clothes and throw them into the dryer for 10 minutes. This kills the deer tick. No need to wash; washing wont kill 'em and weakens the efficacy of self-treated clothes.

4. If you live on the edge of the woods or natural area, set out tick tubes. Huh? The tick is called the deer tick, but the vector is really mice, not deer. Get a bottle of permethrin and soak some cotton balls. Let them dry in a few days and then put a few in a toilet paper roll, or PVC tube segments. Place these on mouse runs. Mice love cotton balls and will use them as nesting material, killing their ticks (happy mice!!). Put them out early June and in the fall.

Got a tick bite? DON'T WAIT, get it tested. Symptoms of Lyme appear days or weeks after the initial bite. Only tick testing enables you to determine if you were exposed to a tick-borne disease BEFORE symptoms ever appear, allowing you to discuss proactive treatment options with your doctor. There are several commercial labs offering testing, but the granddaddy of them all is the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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