Life's Too Short... so make the most of it! Try something new, eat something healthy, grow something beautiful, hug someone you love, move around a lot, and be kind to yourself. Melanie Cole, MS brings you the best tips from lifestyle and fitness experts to the best and brightest medical professionals.

Tick Safety & Lyme Disease

From the Show: Life's Too Short
Summary: Protect yourself from tick-related diseases.
Air Date: 7/11/17
Duration: 15:53
Guest Bio: Thomas Mather, PhD
Dr. Thomas MatherOne of the nation’s leading tick experts, Thomas Mather, PhD, is an established authority on preventing Lyme disease, and is highly sought after for his entertaining and memorable messages about tick bite prevention.

He is professor of Public Health Entomology at the University of Rhode Island and Director of URI’s Tick Encounter Resource Center (TERC).

His work in tick ecology, tick control and anti-tick vaccine development is nationally and internationally recognized, and TERC’s interactive website,, is fast becoming the nation’s leading resource for tick bite protection and tick-borne disease prevention.
Today’s ticks that carry Lyme disease are more rampant than ever.

White-tailed deer are the primary carrier of these ticks. Our growing civilization has greater proximity to these deer, so our tick exposure has increased.

What Do Ticks Look Like?

Ticks have eight legs and come in different sizes. They don’t have eyes or antennae. They have a head and body. There are many varieties of ticks that carry different kinds of germs. You have to identify the ticks correctly to know the potential disease exposure.

Tick Safety

Spray your shoes with permethrin since DEET isn’t very effective on ticks. You can also have your clothing treated with permethrin. Botanical oils may not work well if you’re going into a tick-infested area. Ticks that carry Lyme disease latch on at shoe level and climb up your legs.

If you go exploring, the American dog tick is prevalent and may hitchhike a ride home with you. Toss your clothes in the dryer for 10 minutes to kill any live ticks. Check yourself, family and pets for ticks after the adventure.

It typically takes at least 24 hours for diseases to transmit. Use a pointed tweezer to pull the tick straight out. Take a photo of the tick. Save the tick in a plastic bag for a few weeks in case it needs to be tested.

Listen as tick expert Dr. Thomas Mather joins Melanie Cole, MS, to talk ticks.
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