It’s that time of year again… the warmer weather and all of us coming out of hibernation after a long winter. Unfortunately we are not the only ones waking up! Those nasty ticks are also here and according to experts will be found in large numbers this year.

I have firsthand experience with ticks. Late fall last year after hiking in the woods of western Massachusetts, I became very ill. I had a high fever and was not able to recover. After 4 days of being down for the count, I visited the ER. My platelet count was extremely low as well as my white blood cell count. Liver also elevated – what could it be? Lyme’s disease! Lyme’s disease is no joke, affecting more people every year. It’s easy to get and not easy to diagnose. Thankfully I was treated immediately and felt much better.

So how do you protect yourself and your family?

Here are a few tips that could help:

  • Make sure grass is cut regularly
  • Don’t over-water
  • Remove debris, leaves from woodland edge, perhaps create a no tick zone around perimeter of yard between lawn and woods
  • Keep trees and low lying shrubs pruned to ensure light and air flow
  • Have a licensed pesticide applicator spray the woods edge, under decks, around foundation to help protect your family. Multiple applications will be necessary throughout season.
  • Wear light clothing
  • Tuck your pants into your socks if on a hike
  • Tuck your shirt into your pants
  • Wear a hat
  • Spray your clothes, shoes and belt line with permithrin containing tick repellent
  • Check pets and treat them with flea and tick prevention
  • Always check kids and yourself when returning from being outside

There are also some natural things you can do. Eucalyptus and rosemary sprays are said to help repel ticks and prevent them from attaching to clothes.

Hope this might help someone! And enjoy this beautiful spring!