In order to prevent contracting Lyme Disease, you want to prevent tick bites.

When outside near “the bush” or grassy areas:

  • Wear long sleeve shirts, enclosed shoes, long pants, & tuck the pants into your socks (even though it looks daggy)
  • Spray an insect repellent on your clothes that contains DEET* (make sure you wash your hands and any areas that may have had exposure to the DEET when you return inside, or before you eat)
  • After you come inside, check your clothes, hands, hairline, neck, & behind your ears for ticks (do a tick check)

If you find ticks on your clothes, pick them off with tweezers and put them the garbage bin (or keep them in a plastic vial to be tested).

If you find ticks already attached to your body:

  • you must remove them carefully with long nosed tweezers – this is so that you avoid squeezing the tick and it’s toxic contents into your blood stream
  • UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you cover the tick in metho, rubbing alcohol, bi-carb soda, Vaseline, any other substance or burn it with a match – this will make the tick release bacteria-containing lyme disease (as well as other organisms and disease) into your blood stream
  • After you have removed the tick you should go to your Dr and get a course of prophylactic antibiotics (100-200mg of Doxycycline twice a day, plus flagyl twice a day for 6 weeks)(don’t forget it is vital when taking antibiotics to take a good pro-biotic 2 hours after you have taken the antibiotics so that the good bacteria in your gut can be maintained and side effects of the antibiotics reduced).  This prophylactic course of antibiotics dramatically reduces (but does not eliminate completely) your chances of going on to develop Lyme Disease.

This is the recommended course of prophylactic treatment by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society — you can view these here.

A great resource is the Lyme Disease Prevention poster from the Californian Lyme Disease Association, which you can download here.

*DEET is N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, abbreviated DEET, is a slightly yellow oil. It is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. It is intended to be applied to the skin or to clothing, and is primarily used to repel mosquitoes. In particular, DEET protects against tick bites, preventing several rickettsioses, tick-borne meningoencephalitis and other tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. It also protects against mosquito bites which can transmit dengue fever, West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis, and malaria.