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In the Woods

Lyme Prevention:
You & Your Family are Worth It.

"An ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure."
                                                 -Benjamin Franklin

Lyme disease prevention is incredibly important for you and your family. Here's what you need to know in order to protect yourself and your family from tick bites this year:

  • Where to expect ticks: We all know that ticks are frequently found in wooded and brushy areas or fields with high grass, but they can also make their home in your backyard. Ticks such as a deer tick, like to inhabit the shady areas of your yard as well as those areas of your yard that are adjacent to the woods, to a field, or to stone walls/woodpiles.

    • Check out the Lyme Disease Association's Guide to Property Prevention: Quick Tricks to Stop Ticks for ways you can make your yard less inviting for ticks.

    • Consider taking part in the research effort behind the Tick App that provides info on tick exposure in your area as well as allows you to report tick activity in your area. This research project is performed by Columbia University & the Northeast Center of Excellence for vector-borne diseases.

  • What to wear when outdoors: Dressing for success can make all the difference when it comes to preventing a tick bite. Here's what to wear:

    • Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts & pants.

      • Tuck your pants into your socks & tuck your shirt into your pants.

      • Consider using a tick repellent. Check out the EPA's & EWG's advice on repellents.

  • What to do after spending time outdoors: Time to do a thorough deer tick bite check on yourself, your family & your pets. Here's the checklist:

    • Check your clothes, pets, and gear for ticks before entering your home or car.

    • Change out of your clothes completely. You can put dryer-safe clothing articles in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes to remove any clinging ticks.

    • Take a Shower: Showering can help you both identify & wash off any ticks that may be crawling on you.

    • Check yourself & others for ticks: This is one of the most important steps to take as ticks can crawl all over your skin without you even noticing it. Conduct a full-body check and pay special attention to these areas:

Lyme disease prevention


  • What to do if you find a tick: There is a right way and a wrong way to remove a tick.

    • Watch this video from the Lyme Disease Association on proper techniques for removing ticks after a tick bite.

    • Contact your healthcare provider for the next steps. This step is crucial for helping prevent Lyme disease spread, lowering risk of undiagnosed Lyme disease, and helping with Lyme disease prevention for others.

    • Save the tick in case by carefully putting it in a sealed ziploc bag in case your health care provider recommends that it be tested. (It's important to note that although the tick you removed may carry several bacteria, not every bacteria was transmitted to you. If you elect to get the tick tested, you will most likely be responsible for the cost of testing.)

  • What acute Lyme disease looks like: Less than one-fifth of the people diagnosed with Lyme disease get the classic bull's eye rash, but the risk is worth getting checked. Early symptoms of Lyme disease can appear anytime from 3 - 30 days after being bitten by a tick. Be sure to contact your healthcare provider if you have any of the following symptoms which may indicate acute Lyme disease:

    • Flu-like symptoms: fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches & pains, fever, chills.stiff neck.

    • Rash on skin

    • Joint Pain

    • Headache

    • Swollen Lymph Nodes



If you suspect you may have been bitten by a tick or have symptoms suggestive of Lyme disease, be sure to contact your healthcare provider. Early treatment is important for having a successful outcome and helping with chronic Lyme disease prevention.


If you would like more information on testing for Lyme disease with a functional medicine doctor, ways to help prevent Lyme disease, co-Infections, or how you can optimize your body's immune response to tick-borne illnesses, please call Dr. Sarah Williams here in Concord, MA, or click here.

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