Preventing Lyme Disease
Understand the risks
- The risk of Lyme disease is year round.
- Highest risk late spring to early summer.
- Learn to enjoy the outdoors SAFELY.
- Stay on marked trails.
- Stay out of tall grass & un-cleared areas of the forest floor.
- Don’t crawl or roll in leaves.
- Low-risk areas are athletic fields or cut lawns.
Inspect for ticks
- Parents should inspect the entire body daily for ticks.
- Shower daily.
- Common sites of attachment: underarm, navel, groin, buttocks.
Repellents, Insecticides, & Protective Clothing
- Use insect repellent such as DEET on the body or Permethrin on clothes.
- Review safety information; assess the risks/benefits of these products.
- Many doctors consider them unsafe for use on children. Do not use on children under 3.
- Use discretion and consult your doctor before using.
- Follow all directions carefully.
- Permethrin is for use on clothing only.
- Wear protective Clothing.
- Long sleeves, long pants tucked into socks, & shoes.
- Avoid going barefoot or wearing open-toe sandals/shoes.
To make the most informed risk reduction and health protection decision, look for EPA-registered products that give protection-time information on the label. Make sure the product label tells you:
- Insects it protects against
- Length of time it provides protection
- Names and percentages of active ingredients in the product
The best decisions are made after considering all of this information. It will allow you to make a more informed decision. Protection times on product labels are based upon information submitted to EPA by manufacturers using approved testing methodology. Look for an EPA registration # on the insect label. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the use of products registered by EPA. This number means the company provided EPA with technical information on the effectiveness of the product against mosquitoes and/or ticks.
For protection over an extended period, use a product with a protection time that fits your level and duration of activity. The length of time you are protected can vary depending on:
- Physical activity/perspiration
- Water exposure
- Air temperature
- Application according to label directions
Re-apply repellent according to label instructions
The label is your guide to using these products safely and effectively.
You may also want to consider non-chemical ways to deter biting insects: window screens or netting, long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and socks.