Sun, Fun, And the Dreaded Tick Season

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THERE’S A NEW TOOL IN TICK WARFARE

Well, Hellooooo summer!

Just as I am excited for the warmer weather and ready for all the fun summer brings, I see the dreaded news: this year, ticks are expected to spread ever further than the usual northeast states like New York and New Jersey and more people are being infected with Lyme than ever before. Just 15 years ago, about 100 people were infected with Lyme disease following a tick bite. Today, the Centers for Disease Control report there are more than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease nationally. But it gets worse. The CDC suggests the real number is closer to 300,000!

In 2015, most Lyme disease cases were clustered in the Northeast, but it still found its way as far south as Virginia and as far west as Minnesota. The CDC recommends using an insect repellant with 20% DEET. For more information on the different types of tick and what you can do, be sure to check out the Centers for Disease Control website .

But there is some good news in the battle to keep ticks off you and your children. A new study by the government confirms that clothes treated with permethrin, a synthetic form of an insecticide compound from the chrysanthemum flower, was successful in thwarting off ticks. The clothing was able to cause the ticks to fall off or rendered them unable to bite.

The study used three types of ticks that are major carriers of the disease in the United States, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and what’s known as southern tick-associated rash illness, or STARI.Permethrin has been around for a while. It’s the same insecticide used in sprays and shampoos and creams that currently treat lice and scabies. It is considered to be a chemical that is poorly absorbed through the skin. And researchers were quick to note that the level of chemical used was very low.

Still, brave test subjects found ticks would fall off their pants as they stood and ticks that were on the treated clothes longer than 5 minutes lost their ability to move AND to bite. The CDC suggest people can treat their clothing and gear, like sneakers, but that preteated clothing may offer longer protection.

While the results of the study are new, a quick search on Amazon revealed several sites that sell treated clothing for kids. Moms would do well to research clothing companies carefully, but know that we have one more tool in our arsenal to fight the dreaded tick season.

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