Lyme Disease - Prevention


Protective clothing includes a hat, long-sleeved shirts and long trousers tucked into socks or boots. Light-colored clothing makes the tick more easily visible before it attaches itself. People should use special care in handling and allowing outdoor pets inside homes because they can bring ticks into the house.

Permethrin sprayed on clothing kills ticks on contact, and is sold for this purpose.

Attached ticks should be removed promptly, as removal within 36 hours can reduce transmission rates. One study concluded that a single dose of doxycycline given within 72 hours after a high-risk tick exposure can prevent the development of Lyme disease.

A community can prevent Lyme disease by reducing the numbers of primary hosts on which the deer tick depends, such as rodents, other small mammals, and deer. Reduction of the deer population may, over time, help break the reproductive cycle of the deer ticks and their ability to flourish in suburban and rural areas.

An unusual, organic approach to control of ticks and prevention of Lyme disease involves the use of domesticated guineafowl. Guineafowl are voracious consumers of insects and arachnids, and have a particular fondness for ticks. Localized use of domesticated guineafowl may reduce dependence on chemical pest-control methods.

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