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Ultimate Guide to Avoiding Ticks and Lyme Disease
Everything you Need to Know about Preventing Ticks, Tick Removal and What to Do if Bitten By a Tick
I was reading a blog by a young woman named Molly Napolitano titled “This is What Lyme Disease Feels Like.” Like many stories I have read about those suffering with this life-killing, debilitating disease, Molly tells us about the dark side of Lyme Disease, that it makes you feel hopeless, morosely depressed, and as if life is passing you by day by agonizing day. Molly spends weeks at a time in bed, unable to walk, read, or enjoy her life without soul-draining fatigue and severe, pervasive pain.
The more stories I read like this, the more I want to help people to avoid getting Lyme disease however I can. That’s why I’m writing this blog today. To help you avoid Lyme disease by avoiding its chief carrier, the tick.
Lyme disease is a serious disease that can destroy your quality of life— for life— and you want to do everything you can to keep from getting it. You need to know how to act fast if you are bitten and how to avoid tick bites at all costs.
Today, I’m going to give you the most thorough guide to avoiding tick-transmitted Lyme disease that I can.
Your New Mantra: “Avoid All Ticks”
Tick bites can be avoided. What it takes is to develop a stringent routine of behaviors to fight back against this persistent predator.
What you have to understand is that ticks are very determined creatures that hunt animals and humans by detecting the CO2 in their breath and the ammonia in their sweat. They lay and wait for their prey, poised upon a plant stem or blade of grass with their arms extended in what is called “questing behavior.”
Tick in Questing Behavior
What they are doing is waiting for you to brush by so they can grasp onto you and travel toward the skin for a blood source to feed upon.
What is important is to be just as diligent at avoiding these ticks as they are in finding you!
Today, I will tell everything about avoiding ticks including
- How to avoid ticks through tick-cautious behavior,
- What products you can use to remove ticks and avoid Lyme disease
- How to perform thorough tick checks
- How to remove a tick the correct way
- How to treat tick bites effectively
- Lyme fighting supplements to help you fight back against tick-borne pathogens
How to Avoid Ticks Outdoors: Stay Away From the Ticks!
To avoid ticks, you have to avoid where they thrive and hunt. We just discussed how ticks prey, so you know they are waiting for you on plant stems and grasses. So try to stay in the center of any trail and in dirt areas when hiking or walking.
Avoid meadows, forests, and woody areas too. Sure, being a tree-hugger is a nice idea. But getting Lyme disease is a reality you do not want. And ticks, most certainly, will be in these environments, just waiting for fresh prey. What they want is a blood host—be it deer or dog. So it is a good idea to keep tick-transferring pets from these high-risk areas altogether.
Most importantly, if you are a nature enthusiast and will be in these areas—than you must check for ticks daily, if not twice daily. If you are with a friend, check one another—thoroughly—after being in the woods and high grasses. At the end of your day out, do an intensive, thorough tick check completely undressed.
Clothing: What to Wear and How to Wear It To Avoid Ticks
When outdoors anywhere, remember your mantra “Avoid all ticks.” And although tick-preventative clothing is not necessarily alluring, it may save your life. What you want to do is encase your body in a Superman-like shield of light, tightly-woven clothing to fight off ticks like a superhero.
1. Wear White Clothing/Light Clothing with a Super-Tight Weave
White clothing will make ticks easy to spot on your clothes. A tight weave makes it impossible to penetrate the clothing and get to your skin as well. This way, you’ll spot a crawling tick before it makes it to your vulnerable skin. And white socks and very light colored pants are crucial for hunting, walking, hiking and other outdoor activities. This way you or a friend can see the tick and remove it quickly.
2. Make it Hard for Ticks to Get To the Skin By Tucking Everything In!
Tucking your pants into a pair of socks with a nice, tight elastic in them to hold them securely in place is one easy, effective way to prevent ticks from crawling up your pants. Also, ticks love the waist, so tucking the shirt into the pants with a good, tight waistband or a snug belt can prevent entry.
3. Shower When You Come Inside
Ticks can live through a washing machine cycle or when you take a shower but showering right after outdoor activities will make it easier to find and remove ticks from your body. Make sure your bathroom is equipped with an angled wall mirror that you can use for thorough tick checks. Do not forget your hair. Ticks love the hair. Just as when doing a pet tick check, run your fingers through dry hair carefully, feeling for even the smallest bumps. You need to do this before your hair gets wet and after, when they might have detached and become easier to feel.
4. Put All Your Clothing Immediately into Dryer
As soon as you come in the door, put your clothes in a dryer on the highest heat setting possible. Ten minutes in a hot dryer will kill ticks on dry clothing, the CDC notes, but damp or wet clothes will take longer.3 If the clothes require washing first, wash the clothes in hot water. Cold and tepid waters will not kill ticks. Drying in low heat for 90 minutes and high heat for 60 minutes should kill all ticks on clothing.
5. Perform Tick Checks on You and Your Pets: The Sure-Fire way to Avoid Tick Bites and Lyme Disease
One of the best ways to avoid Lyme disease is through finding and removing ticks quickly. The less time a tick is on you the the greater your chance of infection is reduced. Remember, ticks are quite determined to get to your skin and feed on the blood that they crave, so tick checks are vital, even when wearing tick repellant.
While there are recommendations out there to use DEET skin repellant or treat your clothes with Permethrin, I am not a big fan of these toxic insect ingredients and insecticides. I personally prefer to use natural tick repellants like the one my friend Dr. Eric Zielinski has on his website in the article called DIY Tick Repellent and Lyme Prevention.
Checking Pets for Ticks
It is important to check your dog for ticks. Since they live with you, the ticks can crawl from them to you, of course. Many, many people get Lyme disease from their dogs, so this is important.
Check your dog for ticks every day, period. I cannot stress this enough—especially when your dog has been in tall grasses or woody areas. What you want to do is run your fingers all over the body and under the hair feeling for any bumps that might indicate a tick. If you feel a bump, separate the fur and look for tick. Ticks are typically brown or black but may turn a grayish-white when engorged (with blood). Look everywhere but especially in areas on pets ticks love to hide and feed like between the toes, the underarm areas on back and front legs, around the tail, and head especially.5
How to Check Yourself and Children for Ticks
When outside, checking your legs, shoes, and socks frequently can help you spot ticks early and get rid of them. Being with a friend whenever going into tick-risky environments is very smart. They can quickly look you all over and see ticks where you cannot. Never wear shorts out in the woods or in tall grasses. You are really asking for a tick bite with skin bared just waiting for a tick bite like that!
Thorough tick checks are extremely, supremely important. The only 100% solution to ensuring you will not get Lyme Disease or any other type of tick-related infection is to remove the tick before transmission of pathogens occurs. And remember, showering will not remove ticks. It might help you find them crawling on you, but won’t kill or wash off ticks.
To do a tick check, you must check your entire body, especially the hard to see or search areas ticks have learned they can thrive without detection. They love the groin and the backs of the leg, knees, and calves. They also love the underarms, the ears, the waist, and the belly button.
Hopefully, you’ll find a tick when it’s still crawling. However, if they have already planted themselves in your skin, there are safe ways to remove them to prevent infection from still occurring (via a still attached head or body part) and this is what we’ll discuss next.4
How to Remove and Treat Ticks if Stung
Understanding how the tick clasps to your skin when it stings you can help you understand how to remove the tick more effectively. Since the tick detaches by rotating its head left or right, mimic its detaching motion by twisting the tick slightly. This will cause the mouth to open slightly, and you can remove the tick without risk of it breaking off inside you.
Why Tick Kits Are Important to Have in Your Health Cabinet!
Since what is needed is tick removal device that will not let the tick’s stinger break off inside of you, I find the tool in Tic-Kit ® much more effective that a pair of tweezers. Also, the tick removal tool in The Tic-Kit® removes the tick in such a way that it creates fewer chances for the tick to throw up into your system, which will transfer harmful bacterial pathogens into your system.
The Tic-Kit® also comes with a container that you can send off to a lab to identify if the tick is carrying a Lyme pathogen or coinfection. The kit includes the container, and ID label, and prepaid shipping label, for easy send-off. The lab will test the tick for Lyme (Borrelia burgdorferi) and 3 co-infections: Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and Babesia. The kit costs about $40 and is an essential health cabinet staple. www.Tic-Kit.com
**Never ever pour anything over the tick while it is attached to the skin such as rubbing alcohol, bleach, peroxide, and other frequently reached for solvents. These will exacerbate the problem, causing the tick to react by literally spewing out infectious bacteria into your system.
What to Do If You Are Bitten By a Tick: WO China Healing Oil
If you are bitten by a tick, remove it as directed above, then clean the area thoroughly with soap and water. Then apply WO China Healing oil by Systemic Formulas on the affected skin immediately. This formula will destroy the bacteria if present.
You can use this oil not just for tick stings, but also insect bites, toe fungus, sore joints, cuts and abrasions of all kinds. It is also a very effective and quick-acting treatment for ear infections and sinus infections (it burns a little but boy does it work!). It is applied topically only. It’s one of my favorites.
Recommended Natural Antibiotics After a Tick Sting
However, what I strongly advocate after a tick sting is a thorough flooding of the system with pathogen killers and immune system boosters.
- Colloidal silver, which is a natural antibiotic
- 3-6 Beta-Glucan, a wonderful supplement, which increases the NK cells (which are your killer fighter cells) and stimulates the immune system
- Garlic, also boosts your NK cells
- Olive leaf extract: Powerful immune boosting, and bacterial and fungal fighting
- Cat’s Claw: fights against Lyme by super-boosting the immune system
- Other infection fighting formulas like VIVI or GOLD by Systemic Formulas
Remember that the longer the tick is attached, the higher the risk of infection. If you are frightened to remove it yourself, have someone help you. Just remember to twist and than gently pull in the removal process!
To read more about tick prevention and treatments as well as Lyme disease and other helpful health protocols to improve your life, my book 5 Steps to Restoring Health Protocol addresses all of these issues and more.
Napolitano, L. (2015) “This is What Lyme Disease Feels Like.” Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/molly-napolitano/what-lyme-disease-feels-like_b_7539130.html
2 CDC. “How Ticks Find Their Hosts.” http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/life_cycle_and_hosts.html
3 CDC. “Preventing Tick Bites.” http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html
5 CDC. “Preventing Ticks on Pets.” http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_pets.html