Since spring is the beginning of the beautiful days, it is very pleasant to walk in the forest. There is a problem however: this is the favorite playground for ticks between March and October.
To avoid being bitten and catching, perhaps, Lyme disease, here are 5 good habits to adopt on a tour.
1. The Choice of Clothing
You have chosen your destination, the picnic is ready, you are on your way! Do not go into the forest as you go to the beach though. To avoid Lyme disease – also called Lyme Borreliosis – avoid being bitten by ticks!
Ticks mostly reside on ferns and tall grasses, and attack the lower limbs more frequently. So cover your legs first. Light-colored pants (to easily distinguish the creepers climbing), tucked into the socks seem to be a good way to keep the ticks from entering your clothes.
2. Protect Exposed Areas
If you do not have long sleeves or it's too hot, do not leave your arms unprotected. There are repellents against insects containing, in particular, DEET. Apply generously before you start your hike. Pregnant? Are your children under the age of three? Ask your pharmacist for advice on choosing a suitable product.
3. Avoid Brushwood
Children frolicking in the brushwood… That's so cute… But watch out! The bushes are, essentially, tick tanks. This is where they wait for their meals: warm-blooded animals (small mammals and bigger ones, like deer or wild boars) or you! Walk in the middle of the trails. And when the picnic or nap time comes, stay on a clear area and isolate yourself from the ground with a blanket or a tablecloth.
4. Inspection after the Walk
You are finally back home. Even before thoroughly inspecting yourself, it is ideal to take a shower and change clothes – these can take a trip to the dryer at high temperatures to kill any ticks. The shower will perhaps make one or more ticks fall naturally. After this first step, carefully look at your whole body (you can use a mirror) and, especially, the underarms, eyelids, ears, back of the knees, groin, elbow folds, neck and scalp. Also, be very rigorous with checking your children.
5. Removal of the Tick
You have a tick? Do not panic. The bacterium transmitting Lyme disease (borrelia) takes between twelve to twenty-four hours to contaminate the human organism. So you have time to remove the tick with a tick clip that you can find at the pharmacy. Disinfect the wound with an alcohol-free antiseptic after removing the bug and make sure you do not leave its head beneath the skin.
Forget about oil or ether. Some products can cause stress in the tick and make it regurgitate in your body. This speeds up the contamination if the tick was carrying the bacteria. Observe the stung location for thirty days. If a red circle gradually forms and spreads, consult your doctor. Rapid antibiotic treatment can effectively stop the disease.