Johns Hopkins Medicine answered:
Individuals should be educated to check themselves for ticks - very carefully-at the end of each day if they live in a known tick-infested habitat. Should you find a tick, immediately remove it. Since I. scapularis (commonly referred to as a "deer tick") must feed for 24-48 hours in order to transmit the disease, this will likely prevent most, if not all, Lyme disease cases.
Other preventative measures include
- Insect repellent on the skin
- An insecticide that is sprayed on clothes to kill any ticks you may come in contact with
- Tucking pants into socks
- Wear long sleeves and long pants
- Wear light-colored clothing to spot the dark ticks more easily
Purists will argue that such personal protective behaviors have not been documented to decrease the risk of Lyme disease. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that these measures are often beneficial in protecting yourself from tick bites and, therefore, Lyme disease.
Environmental safeguards also decrease ticks in residential areas:
- Elimination of leaf litter
- deer exclusion with fencing
- deer elimination
- insecticide (acaricide) applications
- use of guinea fowl around the home
However, there are not really any practical environmental methods to prevent Lyme disease transmission around the home in endemic areas. Insecticide has to be reapplied on a regular basis and many communities have concerns about such repeated applications, so this method of control probably has only limited use.Individuals should be educated to check themselves for ticks - very carefully-at the end of each day if they live in a known tick-infested habitat. Should you find a tick, immediately remove it. Since I. scapularis (commonly referred to as a "deer... More
A Lyme disease vaccine is under development but is not yet available. The only sure way to prevent the disease is to avoid exposure to infected ticks. Healthcare professionals recommend avoiding areas where wild mice might live, such as the edges of yards, fields, and woods with low, dense groundcover.
Healthcare professionals also recommend to: wear long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks during outside activities,wear a hat, and tie hair back; use insecticides to repel or kill ticks. Repellents containing the compound meta-N,N-diethyl toluamide (DEET) can be used on exposed skin except for the face, but they do not kill ticks and are not 100% effective in discouraging ticks from biting. It is important when using any of these chemicals to follow label directions carefully, especially when using them on children; check for ticks after outdoor activities. Check body areas where ticks are commonly found, such as behind the knees, between the fingers and toes, under the arms, in and behind the ears, and on the neck, hairline, and top of the head. Check places where clothing presses on the skin; and remove attached ticks promptly. Removing a tick before it has been attached for more than 24 hours greatly reduces the risk of infection. Use tweezers, and grab as closely to the skin as possible. Do not try to remove ticks by squeezing them, coating them with petroleum jelly, or burning them with a match.
Large brown ticks that are commonly found on dogs and cattle do not carry the Lyme disease bacterium. When removing a very small tick to have it tested for Lyme disease, place it in a clean pill vial or tight-sealed plastic storage bag with a moistened cotton swab. Contact a healthcare provider and local health department.
Monitor the site of the bite for the appearance of a rash beginning three to 30 days after the bite. If a rash or other early symptoms develop, see a doctor immediately.It is recommended by healthcare professionals to visit a doctor if the individuals have been bitten by a tick in areas where there is a high risk for deer ticks.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.A Lyme disease vaccine is under development but is not yet available. The only sure way to prevent the disease is to avoid exposure to infected ticks. Healthcare professionals recommend avoiding areas where wild mice might live, such as the edges... More