Enjoy the Outdoors & Prevent Tick Bites
Prevention of Tick Bites & Lyme Disease/Co-infection
Mild winters mean more ticks and higher rates of Lyme disease. Now at least 10-40% of ticks carry Lyme disease, and the percent is higher when you include the other many serious co-infections (such as Babesia, Bartonella, Anaplasma). The best way to handle Lyme disease is to prevent it! We must be most aware May through September, but with our milder winters you can get bit most any time! Remember most ticks are very small (often no bigger than the period on the end of this sentence), and most people with Lyme disease do not even remember a tick bite. .
The people and children most at risk are: those who walk through grass or wooded areas, live or work in tick-infested areas, those who engage in frequent outdoor activities or sports, athletes, gardeners, lawn care workers, golfers, hikers, fishermen, campers, and hunters.
- Permethrin 0.5% spray to shoes & socks (and other clothing, hats, and camping supplies) gives the very best prevention, as TICKS DIE ON CONTACT of clothing with permethrin (DEET is only a repellent and ticks can crawl to area of skin without DEET). A single application will protect you and your children for 6 weeks or 6 washings (available at camping supply stores or online).
- Avoid tick infested areas.
- Mow your lawn regularly, thin underbrush, and avoid watering (ticks do not like dry conditions)
- When outdoors wear light colored clothes made of smooth material (harder for ticks to latch onto and makes ticks more noticeable).
- Wear long-sleeved shirts tucked into your pants, long pants tucked into our socks, closed toed shoes, and hats (if in the woods or tall vegetation).
- Apply insect repellant to pants, socks, and shoes (best is permethrin spray) and exposed skin (Avon Skin-So-Soft or Deep Woods Off with DEET only proven ones to repel, but see below for some natural options).
- Avoid walking in overgrown grass and brush and stay in the center of trails.
- When you return indoors, remove, wash, and dry your clothing and take a hot shower and use a brush on your skin (to brush off any ticks).
- Thoroughly inspect you and your children’s bodies from head to toe and also your pets (use Frontline per directions on your pets). Be sure to check hard to reach areas (like under arms, behind ears & knees, in groin or belly button, and you can use a mirror).
- Drying clothes on high heat for 10 minutes can kill ticks (additional drying time for wet clothes).
- If you find a tick, tug gently but firmly straight upward with a blunt fine-tipped tweezer near the head of the tick until it releases hold and keep it to send to UMass or IgeneX lab to be tested for Borrelia (Lyme disease) — do not crush or use heat or chemicals which can cause it to inject bacteria into your skin.
- If you are bitten by a tick, swab the bite area immediately with an antiseptic and see a Lyme-aware provider (one who is proficient in addressing both the conventional medical and natural health aspects of Lyme treatment).
- Reduce ticks on your property by: pruning trees, clearing brush, removing litter, mowing grass short, and letting it dry thoroughly between watering, move shrubbery and overgrowth farther away from areas frequented by people.
- Place a 3 foot wide barrier of gravel or wood chips between the lawn and wooded areas. Maintain a 9 foot barrier between the wood chips and areas such as patio, garden, and play areas.
- Until washed away, food grade diatomaceous earth (safe for pets and children) will kill bugs & ticks applied when to ground or edges of floors or counters or doorframes.
- Make your property unattractive to animals that are hosts to ticks by: eliminating bird feeders, birdbaths, and salt licks; erecting fencing around the property; clearing away woodpiles, garbage, and leaf piles; removing stonewalls that provide homes to wildlife; have your property chemically treated.
- You can kill ticks on your property by applying chemicals. Seek professional advice before application. Carefully timed applications increase effectiveness.
Extra precaution for everyone: maintain a healthy life-style to support your immune system by getting regular exercise, drinking 6-8 glasses of water/day, eating whole natural foods and no sugar or gluten, sleeping at least 7-8 hours/night, and supporting your body & immune system with our excellent supplements Orthomolecular Orthobiotic probiotic, Vitamin D (or Vitamin K2+D5000), Orthomega fish oil, and Alphabase Multivitamin.
Extra precautions for those with significant exposure: during high risk season consider use of daily Astragalus 1000mg/day (helps T lymphocytes), or beta glucan 10-250mg/day or aloe vera (they help immune system macrophages).
Natural Options that may repel ticks & bugs for you: Coconut oil (1cup) mixed with 30-60 drops of Lavender oil (spf4 so works for 45minutes of sun exposure too); Organic apple cider vinegar (1 cup) mixed with 30-60 drops of Lavender oil in spray bottle; Buzz Away or Bite Blocker.
Lyme Tip: Consider if you, a friend, or family member are at risk for tick exposure and bites. Read some more about Lyme disease from these good Lyme resources: www.ILADS.org, LymeDisease.org and read all of Dr. Lisa’s blogs on Lyme Disease — The Hidden Epidemic at Excellforlife.com
Excell for Life Family Care & Pediatrics,
- Lisa Miller, MD (board certified in Family Medicine, and 28 years in practice) HOPE Care provider
- Brandy Manetta, NP (experienced in Emergency Medicine, finishing IFM training) HOPE Care provider
- Allison Newsom, MD (Pediatrician & Internal Medicine physician, board certified in American Academy of Pediatrics and board eligible in Internal Medicine) HOPE Care provider
- Amy Nicley, NP (soon to be IFM certified, many years of Internal Medicine experience)
- Nicci Wilhoite, NP (experienced in Geriatric Medicine, minor skin surgical procedures, training in IFM)
- Kate Marciniec, NP (experience in Family Medicine, training in IFM)
1329 West 96th Street Indianapolis, IN 46256
317-660-0888, fax 317-660-0880