D.A.R.E. 2B Tick AwareApr 29, 2021 02:28PM ● By Dave Korba
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. In Pennsylvania, 84 children fall ill with Lyme disease every day, and over 100,000 Pennsylvanians are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. That’s about 1/3rd of the 476,000 Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year (CDC)1,2. Lyme is found in every single PA County.
Spring coincides with increased outdoor activity, as well as the nymph tick stage (poppy seed sized tick, hard to see on skin). Tick prevention steps are key. Enjoy the outdoors but do so safely by taking prevention measures.
PA Lyme Resource Network’s Dare 2B Tick Aware Program was created in 2017 via a PA Department of Health CDC Preventative Health Block Grant. The goal is to standardize tick prevention information being disseminated across the state, to increase reach into communities and, over time, to impact health behaviors.
The D.A.R.E. acronym is a helpful way to remember the key prevention steps:
Defend yourself and property
· Spray clothes with Permethrin: spray sneakers and socks with Permethrin. Permethrin is not for skin. Do not spray while wearing them, Only do outdoors with good ventilation. Allow time for them to dry fully before handling or wearing.
· Spray or wipe repellent on skin: choose appropriate sprays/wipes to spray skin/rub around neck and hair (see free resources at https://palyme.org/dare-2b-tick-aware/).
Create an environment that is inhospitable for ticks
· Move play equipment into sun
· Keep grass short
· Use barks/chips vs. mass planting ground covers
· Remove Japanese Barberry – creates moist environment for ticks
· Timed, targeted spraying – spring, summer, fall
· Consider tick tubes around yard
Avoid tick habitat
· Do not sit directly on the grass, stone walls or fallen logs, avoid grassy areas, the edge of the woods or bushy areas
the woods, walk in the middle of trails where grass and weeds will not brush
· Inspect yourself after spending time in tick-infested areas. Tell schools/kids to have students do a buddy check.
· Check your head, hair, armpits, underwear/waistband, knees, feet, elbows, toes
· SHOWER <2 hours after possible exposure
· Put clothes in dryer (10 minutes) on high heat, will kill ticks
Eliminate ticks correctly
▪ Using pointed tweezers or appropriate tick remover
▪ Grasp tick firmly, nearest to head
▪ Do not squeeze tick
▪ Pull straight out
▪ Clean area with alcohol wipes or hot, soapy water
▪ Watch for any indication of infection
▪ Twist tick
▪ Squeeze body
▪ Use petroleum jelly or other substances on a tick
For more prevention tips (including what to do if bitten), to book a free Dare 2B Tick Aware seminar, or to DONATE to PA Lyme go to www.palyme.org.
Dare 2B Tick Aware Materials downloadable HERE - https://palyme.org/dare-materials/
1-Schwartz AM, Kugeler
KJ, Nelson CA, et al. Evaluation of
commercial insurance claims as an annual data source for Lyme disease diagnoses. Emerg
Infect Dis. 2021;27(2).
2-Kugeler KJ, Schwartz AM, Delorey M, et al. Estimating the frequency of Lyme disease diagnoses —United States, 2010-2018. Emerg Infect Dis. 2021;27(2).ï