By MAGGIE M, Wedgee-in Chief, Editor, the wedge.LIVE 🖤 TO SHARE click icons at story’s end
This writer contemplated inserting “High Alert,” in the headline to this story. We just don’t do “fear.” This is a preventative health feature and could be the most important story–with life-saving guidelines–you read this 2018 to avert Lyme disease from ticks.
These almost imperceptible arachnids (spider specie) are everywhere. In the wedge’s opinion it is a pandemic as it is multi-national and infectious–from mammals to humans. According to the CDC, 82% of ticks are infected with pathogens. These facts hold true here too.
I contemplated manufacturing a line of clothing to help protect the public and allow them to enjoy their surroundings safely. In meantime, this is what you should do to repel, catch and remove ticks–before, during and after being outdoor. If you are in town, on a boat or at a beach, a good distance from shrubbery or grasses, you can generally relax your clothing choices; however, you can no longer sit in your garden or yard without being vigilant about your surroundings.
If you are camping or hiking you must not ignore this information. Ticks are present in all forests, fields, etc… This is not sudden development; it has been building for decades. 2018 is expected to be the worst year yet.
Here is how you must dress for adventure in 2018. Do not throw caution to the wind.
COLOUR OF CLOTHING
Wear white or very light clothing so you, your family and friends, can spot them quickly and flick them off. The nymphs are as small as poppy seeds. The largest ticks are the size of sesame seeds. If you do not have 20/20 vision this is doubly important. When you see them flick them off.
Ticks do not jump. They catch a ride when you brush against them. They crawl–this is the limit of their kinesiology. Accordingly, they hang out on grasses and shrubs waiting for a host. This means your feet and legs are generally their boarding point.
- Wear long, white or pale colored socks over your pants. They must get access to your bare skin to plow their proboscis into your flesh. Feel stupid? Don’t worry–it is quickly becoming vogue.
- Add insurance that your socks won’t drop or separate–tape the seam shut. Give your pants a little slack for movement. Ticks will look for any fold and crawl in. You’ll look positively Scottish. All you need is bagpipes.
- Tuck your shirt into your pants. Loose shirts will guarantee they can crawl up your waist to your soft spots and begin feasting. Women! do not even contemplate dresses, skirts. And no one should wear shorts.
- Sleeves that are full length and have an elastic seal are better. Remember you arms dangle low at thigh height and you sometimes fiddle with your environment. Tape on your sleeves is smart.
REPELLENT ON YOUR SHOES
The most popular repellent is permethrin. I don’t advocate it on the clothing because of its toxicity. BUT with this threat spraying your shoes with permethrin is a smart move. The ticks will die if they latch on to your shoes first. Do not wear sandals. Wear a closed shoe with socks-always.
SAFE REPELLENT ON YOUR CLOTHES
You can blend repelling natural oils in a spray bottle. Spray your clothing and skin with this easy concoction–including your head. This will have the bonus of keeping all insects away. Below are the ingredients we mentioned in a previous story–and a recipe!
HOW TO GET THE OILS
Essential Oils are sold in small amber glass bottles, usually at health food store and natural section of grocery stores. These ingredients are affordable and should last awhile depending on the size of your family and frequency of use. In Smiths Falls, Modern Thymes (see right column) sells Now brand Eucalyptus Essential Oil for $7.99 and Lemongrass Essential Oil for $12.99. They also sell amber glass spray bottles for $2.99.
YOUR HEAD IS A SECONDARY TARGET
Just a few days ago, a friend of a friend found a tick on her head, fully engorged. The head is full of blood, warm and a magnet to ticks. They may crawl up there or occasionally, land there. It is tough to find a tick if you have a good mane of hair. Tying back hair is best, or tuck it in a hat. The ticks can latch on to hair when you bend down, or one drops from above (squirrels, birds). Again, wear a light colored hat.
If this story frightens you away from enjoying your summer, we intend the reverse. Be smart, be vigilant, and enjoy the warm weather. And, stay healthy.
We have been receiving communiques and alerts from the Health Unit and many NGOs about the increase in ticks and the threat.
HOW TO REMOVE TICKS BORED IN
A friend’s husband removed a tick from her back last week and accidentally left the proboscis in her flesh. The pathogens remained until the doctor removed it. Take care in its removal when bored in. There are special tweezers for removal; however, always have a pair of straight tweezers in your pocket.
EXCELLENT POSTER FROM LYMEDISEASE.ORG : The poster below is worth 1,000 words.
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