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Updated: May 1, 2019

We have received an abundance of calls for tick issues in the Lebanon, Zionsville, Westfield, Carmel and Fishers Indiana areas that I thought it was time to talk about the problem. I don’t know about you, but I am disgusted by the idea of a tick and that is burrows it mouth under the skin to feed on blood. As a parent, the thought of these minuscule little snots on my children or pups is 10 times worse! The CDC reports that kids 5-9 years old are most at risk of Lyme disease and over 75,000 are diagnosed with the illness every year. I won’t scare the day lights out of you discussing Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (that is what google is for), but I did want to take a few moments of your time to educate you and your families on prevention.

1. BE ON THE LOOK OUT. Ticks are out looking for a host after temperatures reach 40 degrees. Immature nymph ticks start hatching in April, they are extremely difficult to see and often feed while overlooked.

2. NO EXPOSED SKIN. Cover up your kiddos, long sleeves and long pants that are tucked into their socks. Ticks do not fly or jump; they crawl up until they find a good spot to attach.

3. TREAT YOUR PETS. It is very important that you keep your pets up to date on their tick medication. Pets are also susceptible to tick-borne diseases and it is so hard to find a tick on your furry friend than on a human. Keep dogs out of family members beds (I know sad face) and do not allow children to lay in pet beds. This is especially important because ticks hitch rides onto your family pet and then can transfer at night to a human host.

4. SKIN SCAN. Ticks are attracted to warm, moist areas like the back of knees, armpits, back of ears, groin, and scalp. They can attach anywhere but these are good places to start searching. Daily checks at bath time are important.

5. REDUCE HIDING SPOTS. Brush and leaf litter attract ticks, especially if the foliage is in a shady or moist area. Keep your lawn less than 5” tall throughout the spring and summer. Remove any trash or debris from yard. Place trampolines, pools, and play grounds in a place that gets the most sun each day. Stack wood neatly and in a dry area to discourage rodents on your property that may carry ticks.

6. KEEP OUT THE CRITTERS. Build a fence to prevent stray animals from bringing ticks into your yard. Rabbits and raccoons can carry ticks and fleas and will bring them right into your own backyard.

7. LANDSCAPE KIDS PLAY AREAS. Consider placing a 3’ barrier of mulch, cedar chips or gravel around or in play areas. Creating a perimeter around yards and play grounds restricts tick migration into recreational areas.

8. KEEP YOUR ENEMY CLOSE. If you do find a tick on a family member place it in a sealed bag after removing. Indicate on the bag the date you removed the tick and where you found on the person. Shall symptoms appear take to your family doctor for review.

9. DITCH THE DEET. Listen does Deet works, ABSOLUTELY, but is it good for your children…. I am not sure! There are several studies I have read pointing to possible side effects including dizziness, headaches, and even seizures. Natural bug repellents are proven effective!

10. NATURAL TICK REPELLENT. Purchased a spray bottle and put in ½ cup of witch hazel, 24 drops of lavender essential oil, 12 drops of lemon eucalyptus and 24 drops of geranium essential oil. Shake well in the spray bottle and spray on skin, clothing and shoes and socks before heading outside to play.

11. TALK WITH YOUR PRESCHOOL. Believe it or not, daycare and preschool providers are not required to have pest treatments preformed regularly. Many people believe pest control involves harsh chemicals, there are some companies (cough cough) like The LadyBug the treat with essential oil-based products. Talk with your childcare provider about having a professional treat with essential oils.

If you have questions regarding safe essential oil treatments or prevention of ticks call The LadyBug to learn more 317-601-2873

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