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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » How to deal with fear of ticks?

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Author Topic: How to deal with fear of ticks?
Doomer
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I love the outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing, boating, anything outdoors. I live in Idaho where the outdoors is vast and so much to do.

Since I have been so sick the last 7 months my activity has been minimal. But we do have a lake cabin in the mountains where the ticks are frequent visitors.

Now I am terrified to go out and take a walk, get near any trees, tall grass or sage brush because of these darn ticks that have made my life a living misery.

So how did you get over your terror and fear of ticks and getting bit again? Any tips on prevention and mentally coping with this will be helpful.

I also have a very active dog who has brought ticks into house. We put revolution on him (similar to frontline) and also towel him down before letting him in the house or cabin.

Also with mosquito season arriving I have to now worry about that to. IDaho had the most infections of West Nile virus with 23 deaths and 300 hospitalizations d/t WN virus. Over 1200 people infected with WN virus. I'm sure there were much more than that infected just like LD. So now I have to worry about ticks and mosquitos.

I hate that this disease has taken away my love of the great outdoors.

How do you cope with the fear?

Posts: 188 | From ID | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OptiMisTick
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[ 24. February 2008, 11:39 PM: Message edited by: OptiMisTick ]

Posts: 1338 | From Above the Clouds | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CaliforniaLyme
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For a year or so after I was really sick and could not walk well I kept thinking about moving back to LA, Los Angeles, and being a city person again... & then I thought, "No!" and since then I hike like the dickens and drag my kids through forests and meadows everywhere we can go-
I USED to be better at tick checks- frankly, I am not routine about them now- complacency- but I do still do them- somewhat-

I don't want to live that way- fearful-

So i try and have faith that if I or my family member gets way sick again, that help will still be available- and I try to work to make that happen by spreading Lyme awareness-

What I DO do, which drives my elder daughetr crazy, is be more restrictive with HER than with ME since I am still on abx and she is in full remission and is not- when we go blackberry picking I forbid her from plunging into the middle of bushes the way I do- I only let her pick at the outskirts of bushes- and when we hike I always nag her, "STAY ON THE PATH< RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE!!!"

She accuses me of using the Blackberry Rules to get the best berries!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But that is
really because I worry- we do plunge straight into meadow grasses surrounding the bushes- oh- and when we are going berry picking - sometimes thimbleberries- I do spray her with anti-tick stuff from the waist down-

She has a great awareness. I remember once she was 3 or 4 and we were at a park and these 2 little strange girls came over to play with her. They suggested they play vet and so Evan goes, "Okay, I'll be the cat and I have Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis!" They both looked at her like, "Whhhaat?" It was cute!!!

Anyway, so for a good six months I did consider selling this place and moving to LA and being a citified person again- but nope!!!!!!!!!

Thank goodness!!! I love it here!!!
Best wishes,
Sarah

--------------------
There is no wealth but life.
-John Ruskin

All truth goes through 3 stages: first it is ridiculed: then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident. - Schopenhauer

Posts: 5639 | From Aptos CA USA | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sixgoofykids
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Fortunately, I live in the city ... well, a small suburban city outside of a larger city, but I'm right downtown. We have basically no yard.

I prefer to wear a hat when I go for a walk because of the trees overhead. The farthest I go out into nature, besides the kids baseball games will be, when I'm feeling better, the old train tracks that are now a bike trail. I will wear light colors and a hat because of all the trees.

My husband's family is having a family reunion at a state park in NY. We opted to not go.

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map1131
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It's obvious that Optimistick has not gotten over it. lol Doomer I can't advise you on to get over it, because it's been 8 yrs and I'm not over being paranoid.

We also had a lake home and just sold it last winter. I'm sooooo glad I don't have to worry about trying to stay tick free while there. Couldn't anyway. Everytime I turned around another family member was finding a tick on them.

Just yesterday I worked in my landscaping at our patio home, in suburbia, mostly pavement and I've being feeling things crawling on me since and keep doing tick checks. After all we know there is deer in the area because couple years ago my husband @5 am seen two deer walking down our street in middle of developement.

All you can do is try to minimize the risk because they are everywhere. Lots of tick checks and spraying.

Pam

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"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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3greatkids
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Optimistic!!!

I can see you w/ your own TV show!

Welcome to Tick Talk w/ Tick Taylor.

Way to go,getting us back out there,making us safe and ready to enjoy the warm summer days ahead!

Duct tape is great.When we find ticks now,they go straight onto the tape,no escape.I cringe when I see them flushed or just thrown back on the ground.

Anyway...I hope you get a Tick Talk show!!!!Or at least give some talks to the hiking groups,scouts,etc. in you area.Get you on the Today Show.

I love the Dog style belt w/ all of the tick ammo you need.This is a war w/ ticks,can't be too careful.

Is Skin so soft a big help w/ fending these ticks off?Anyone else use SSS by Avon?I'm looking for something to use on the horses and that topical spot on treatment is too much for them,it blisters the skin.

Thanks for the tips.

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Doomer
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Thank you for all of these suggestions.

I would hate for this disease to take away the love that I have for the outdoors and for me to turn to an obsessive freak about bugs.

For now anyways, too sick to do much and still obsessed about ticks. mosquitos and bugs.

Posts: 188 | From ID | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
iceskater
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Too much damage done in my life and losses not to be paranoid. I probably got bitten taking my trash out or groceries in since I had no outdoor activities whatsoever. I dont think that one can be too careful.

SmileyCentral.com

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Lymetoo
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I gave in. No way I'm ever going to hike again. Never did much of that anyway.

I tromped through the woods all the time as a child and that's how I got bit....over and over and over again.

No more. I quit!

[Big Grin] Cement is my friend...INDEED!!! [Big Grin]

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--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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heiwalove
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i think this is a really important issue.

though i live in nyc right now, i LOVE nature and the outdoors and i refuse to be afraid of it, or let lyme take that enjoyment away from me.

it seems to me that lyme is everywhere; not only in ticks, but mosquitoes, fleas, flies, etc, as well as congenitally contracted and very possibly sexually transmitted. so, that being the case, it is IMPOSSIBLE (in my opinion) to avoid lyme and coinfections. the only thing we can do is take the best care of ourselves we can, constantly build up our immune systems and make sure our bodies can deal with the bacteria WITHOUT getting sick.

just my two cents.

don't let fear take over.

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Vanilla
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I heard Skin So Soft does not really work for tick bite prevention.

After reading about all that duck tape I am going to buy shares in it.

I lay on our large lawn in the back un-fenced yard but the dog seems to keep the deer out hopefully and his owners say he has not had a tick in years.. Am I nuts to be laying on the lawn?

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5dana8
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Thanks guys...some really great tips!

Ticks & the outdoors scare the living lovin life out of me [Eek!]

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5dana8

Posts: 4432 | From some where over the rainbow | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin123
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I'm wondering how much we could play around with TKO Orange. Go see at www.TKOOrange.com. It's from orange peels, it's nontoxic and natural, it kills bugs, it's a good cleaner also.

A woman told me she puts it on her dog and on the yard. You can get it diluted or in concentrate form and then dilute in water. Only caveat: people who are allergic to oranges.

I'm not sure how I feel about it on the skin. the folks at the TKO booth at the health expo I was at recently did put it on their skin. I find that it stings a little.

But start to consider the possibilities: to be able to spray where you want to go camping, spray your camping equipment, try it on your yard, etc. I think it's something we need to collectively be looking at.

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Mr. Tom
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I got lyme disease last may. As a landscaper im always outdoors, and around high risk areas.

I bought *tick clothes* from cabelas website. If you visit the site type in bug skinz(with a z) in the search bar and it should take you right to them.

They are a spandex tight fitting type of material and are worn underneath your regular clothing. I got the socks, pants, and shirt, and tuck them all in. Im protected from my neck down. I recommend them to everyone. I never go to work without them on.

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5dana8
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Hi Mr.Tom

Thanks for the info. I went to the cabelas webb site & was wondering if the clothing is treated with anything special?

I have very tight fitting clothing I can wear. Wondering if these cloths are just tight fitting?
And also wondering if the clothing breaths at all or is too hot?

Thanks again [Smile]

Blessings [Smile]
Dana

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5dana8

Posts: 4432 | From some where over the rainbow | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
WildCondor
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I love the outdoors too. I don't bushwhack anymore, walk through fields, brush or grass. I use permethrin, BUZZ OFF, and the Bug Shirt. I wear knee high OR gaiters sprayed with permethrin, Rynoskin socks, and wear a buff on my head to cover my hair up completely. I wear light colored clothes outside. I check myself every 1/2 hour and carry a 10x mirror with me in my backpack. I stay on the water fishing for the most part these days. [Smile]
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5dana8
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Thanks for sharing wildcondor [Smile]

what's a buff that your wear on your head?

I can't think of anything to wear but my baseball cap that tuck my hair up in & I spray with deet... But the ticks can crawl up the hat edges. Same with a scarf. I think they can crawl up there too.

Don't feel safe with my shirt that I button the collar up. I think if a tick lands on my neck it can crawl down my shirt.

My pants I feel much safer cause I tuck my long socks in my pants & spray my pants & shoes with deet. And check my leggs & feet alot.

Same with the place where my shirt isn't tight enough around my waist.

So bascially I am not feeling safe from the waist up. I have a tick suit by nearly passed out from the heat recently. Don't know what to do now.

I spent hours cruising the internet looking for a one piece jumper, out of light weigth cotton that doesn't look like a hazmat suit but couldn't find any.

Any ideas?

Thanks [Smile]
Dana

ps: I would love to be surrounded by cement but our house is in the middle of the woods.

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5dana8

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Geneal
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I've thought about this one a lot.

I also live in the country that is heavily wooded.

As we don't really know what the vector(s) are in this area,

We do the best to protect ourselves from all of them.

It is kind of like a game of craps....literally.

I am definitely more aware.

We are to be picking blackberries also off of the property this weekend (down at corner).

I always wear jeans, heavy boots and long sleeved shirts.

I am more afraid of the snakes than the ticks, although I told my children they will be

Watching me from the golf cart as opposed to picking with me.

I live off a gravel road....there is no cement around me.

At least now I know what to look for....know which test to do....and am learning treatment for family.

I refuse to become a prisoner of my house (or what is left of it).

I take precautions, am vigilent, and pray...a lot!!!

Hugs,

Geneal

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pineapple
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I try not to think of it as fear of ticks but awareness of ticks. I feel sorry for people that don't know they should be checking their kids after playing outdoors. I was one of those. We were never told ticks were a danger here. We were told (and still docs say it today) that Lyme disease is rare here and is not a concern.

I am glad that I am tick aware now. The first year I was diagnosed I couldn't walk across the grass or under trees. Period. I watched the seasons change staring out my window becasue I was too sick to leave the bed or couch. Now I am glad I can venture outdoors. Yes, people look at me funny when I am the only one standing at an outdoor event and the rest are sitting in the grass. I don't care.

I do not sit in the grass and I will not go in the woods or very tall brush or grass. I can enjoy nature from the sidewalk just as much.

Its harder to modify the behavior of kids. We will not be jumping in a pile of leaves any more. They do play outdoors in the yard when ever possible and I just remember to check them when they come inside. My husband forgets to check them when i am not home and it makes me mad.

One thing I haven't been able to do because of fear of ticks is mow the lawn. I gladly let him do that. I don't have the energy to mow for 8 hours.

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Doomer
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Optmistick - I like all of your suggestions and will probably adopt the ducktaping around the ankles and waste to keep the ticks out.

Where is permitherin available? I have looked and cannot find it. I will look for buzz off that Wildcondor suggest.

Also I will invest in some tick clothing that Mr Tom suggest from Cabelas.

All of these suggestions will help with comfort level in being outdoors.

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5dana8
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Hey doomer

permitherin I found last year at walmarts under the name of Repell..but they sell 2 kinds & you have to read the ingredients.

I haven't looked for it yet this year at walmart so I hope they still sell it.

I am by far no exert but this is what I have learned so far about the sprays...you should do a search here & make sure my lyme brain is correct:

Permitherin can only be sprayed on clothing. It is toxic on the skin. The clothing should be sprayed on the outside with permitherin then allowed to dry a bit before you put them on. I was spraying my cloths heavy with the stuff while still on my body & the spray leaked onto my skin. Not good.

Deet can be sprayed on the skin, but I would use it in moderation as our lyme body's don't handle chemicals very well.

Deep woods off sells a spray with deet in it with a "low scent to it..." Unscented Deep woods off" with 25% deet. It still smells but lots less than the regular.

I have found that much 25% of deet is what it takes to repell ticks. Unforntuately I haven't had much luck with the skin so soft brand for repelling ticks.

Hope this helps

Take care
Dana

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5dana8

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Doomer
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Dana - thanks for the info, I will be looking for the Repell and read labels looking for permitherin. Also thanks for telling me not to apply to skin.

I have some light colored hospital scurbs pants that I wear and spray with deep woods off but want to get the permitherin to spray them with.

Also I need to be better about tucking my hair into a scarf. Perhaps I should just live in a bubble...

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Vanilla
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I hear Skin so Soft does not work on ticks so I hope no one is seriously looking to it for tick protection.
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