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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ticks: Prevention and Remedies

There are better ways to survive tick season than using chemical insecticides. If you live near or often spend time in a wooded area, blood-sucking ticks are part of your world.

When tick populations rise in July and August, you’ll again feel those familiar tickling sensations on your legs and neck, and again drag the dog into the sunlight so you can spot and remove those darn ticks.

During this process, you may be wondering whether there are better ways to survive tick season, especially if you don’t want to use DEET (a chemical insecticide that may cause eye irritation, rash or other side effects) on yourself or veterinarian-grade pesticides on your pets. Even if you do use chemicals in your tick management plan, it’s still a good idea to back them up with sound natural strategies.

The stakes can be high. First described in 1977 as “Lyme arthritis,” tick-vectored (transmitted) Lyme disease is now the most common critter-vectored disease in North America. More than 30,000 cases were reported in 2008, including many in towns and cities where no previous infections had been recorded. Like an invasive weed, Lyme disease is slowly spreading inland from its stronghold along the northern Atlantic coast. Read the entire article.

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