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Strategies to Prevent Lyme & Tick Borne Infections

Lyme disease and tick borne infections are spread through tick bites. The best way to prevent Lyme disease and related infections is to stop ticks from attaching to you. Another strategy is to quickly remove attached ticks before they spread infection. Here are some specific actions you can take to prevent Lyme and related infections.

Marty Ross MD Discusses Lyme Disease Prevention
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Actions While Outdoors Where Ticks LiveONE – Use A Good Tick Repellent On Your Skin

Before going into tick habitats, spray your skin with a tick repellent. Ticks are repelled by certain chemicals which limit their chances of getting on your skin or biting you. Common repellants include

  • picaridin,
  • DEET, and
  • essential oils.

Of these, picaridin and DEET work best because they last longer.

Research shows essential oils only work up to 20 minutes after application. Picaridin 20% can last 12 to 14 hours depending on whether a spray or lotion is used. The length of effect of DEET depends on the concentration. DEET 30% can last for 8 hours – while DEET 98% in Backwoods OFF can last for 10 hours.  (See link for article and video)



The best way to protect yourself from Lyme/MSIDS is to prevent being bitten by a tick in the first place.  Lyme/MSIDS can also be passed congenitally and very probably sexually.


  • Ross recommends Picaridin over Deet due to Deet leaving an oil on the skin that is potentially neurotoxic.
  • You can use the EPA search tool to find approved tick repellents.
  • After spraying exposed skin, you next spray your clothing, including socks and shoes and hats/gloves with Permethrin (which is not to be put on the skin).  It remains active for 6 weeks or 6 washes.
  • Wear light colored clothing so you can see ticks.  Also tuck shirt into pants and pants into socks to create a barrier.
  • Do regular tick checks and get a person to help you look in places you can’t see.
  • If a tick is attached, remove it quickly and properly.
  • Remove clothing and put them in a hot drier for 15-20 min.
  • Take a shower to remove all sprays and to see any ticks.
  • Decrease ticks on your property and on your pets.

For more specifics on how to do the above things:

For more on repellents:  

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