Ticks & Lyme Disease in the Cove
Ticks more prevalent in PA. On Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Protection announced that for the first time, the ticks that carry Lyme disease have been spotted in every county in Pennsylvania.
Given the number of non-hikers that ask me about ticks and Lyme disease, it appears that either the awareness of tick-borne illness or it’s territorial spread are increasing, or both. According to the CDC, cases of Lyme disease are concentrated in the United States, with northern California. Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Wisconsin accounting for about 90% of all cases. Lyme also occurs in other parts of the world, particularly those with large deer populations and grasslands, such as the Scottish Highlands.
There are lots of excellent sources of information on the web about how to identify ticks, how to remove ticks, how to identify Lyme rashes and other symptoms of Lyme and about it’s treatment. It is important for you to read, learn, practice and implement these techniques.
Permethrin is the active ingredient on Insect Shield and Buzz-Off clothing. It is an insecticide that kills bugs that land on clothing treated with it, and not simply a repellent like DEET. I used this same strategy last year, in addition to wearing lightly colored long pants and shirts, and it worked quite well. I was also able to avoid applying DEET to my skin, but for a handful of occasions, all year long.
There are other preventive things you can do to reduce your exposure to ticks like wearing a hat, staying out of long grass, staying on cleared paths and trails, and tucking your pants into your socks. If you hike with a pet, it is also important to defend them from Lyme disease or acting as a carrier of ticks into your home. Check with your vet to see what tick control products or collars they recommend.
Story written by Brian Ford.
Picture by 31031835@N08 on Flickr via CCL 2.0