Are you expecting a child and live in the Northeast? If so, it's time to take some steps to prevent yourself from contracting Lyme disease. The pathogen responsible for Lyme disease is highly concentrated in your region. The illness causes an array of symptoms, ranging from fatigue to stiff joints, to anxiety, dizziness, and shortness of breath. In rare cases, the disease can be lethal, and pregnant mothers may be able to pass the condition on to their developing babies.
How Is Lyme Disease Contracted?
Lyme disease is contracted through deer tick bites. Blood is the only source of food for deer ticks; they cling to grass and low-lying shrubs and quickly scurry onto any human or animal that happens to brush up against the plants they're resting on.
Not all deer tick carry the disease, so getting bit by a deer tick does not absolutely mean you'll contract Lyme disease. However, with an estimated 25 percent of ticks in the nymph stage and 50 percent of adult ticks carrying the pathogen, it's best to do everything you can to limit your risks by lowering the tick population around your home.
How Can Protect Yourself and Your Baby from Lyme Disease?
If you've experienced any of the symptoms of Lyme disease, your first step is to get tested for the disease. A simple blood test can determine whether or not you have it, and a course of antibiotics can both cure you and prevent your child from being affected by the disease while in the womb. Be sure to remind your doctor that you are with child; some antibiotics can be dangerous to unborn children.
Your next step is to lower the population of ticks around your home by creating an unfavorable environment for them. Deer can dry out, so they like moist, shady environments. Clean up any leaf litter and keep your grass trimmed to eliminate hiding spots, and prune any tall shrubs or trees to allow more sunlight into your yard.
You'll also want to focus on keeping other host animals out of your yard. Young deer ticks prefer to feed on birds and chipmunks, and adult ticks like larger animals hosts, like deer. If you must have bird feeders, keep them on the outer edge of your yard and away from where you and your family spend the most time outside. If you've got fruit trees, clean up any fallen fruit before it attracts deer, and make sure your garden is fenced off for the same reason.
If you know that you've got a tick problem on your property, more drastic measures may be necessary in order to protect yourself and your child. About 82 percent of ticks on your property will be located within 9 feet of the edges of your yard. Keep them on the edge of your yard and out of the center of it by laying a few feet of wood chips or gravel along the perimeter of your yard. Not only will the ticks be hesitant to cross this border for fear of drying out, but it will also serve as a reminder for your family to avoid the areas of your yard where they're more likely to pick up ticks.
If you've taken all of these measures and you're still finding deer ticks in your yard, a pesticide treatment may be necessary. Never attempt to spray your own pesticides while you are pregnant. Instead, contact a pest control specialist and ask them to treat your property with an all-natural pesticide that is safe for pregnant women and developing babies. For more information, visit resources like http://www.acewalco.com