Lyme disease, spread by blacklegged ticks (a.k.a. deer ticks), is prevalent. The Ridgefield Health Department’s B.L.A.S.T. Lyme disease prevention program encourages residents to take precautions on a daily basis.

The most effective steps every family can take include bathing or showering after outdoor activity, looking for ticks and rashes daily, applying repellents to clothing and skin, spraying the perimeter of the yard and treating pets as the veterinarian recommends. Products containing DEET will repel ticks and decrease the chances of a tick bite. Studies suggest that for blacklegged ticks, DEET concentrations around 30% may be necessary for adequate protection. Several products contain 0.5% permethrin which is for use only on clothing or other fabrics. Permethrin works primarily by killing ticks on contact and provides a high level of protection. Safety questions should be directed to the National Pesticide Information Center at 1-800-858-7378 or npic.orst.edu

Complete information on tickborne disease prevention and tick management is available online in the Tick Management Handbook provided by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station at ct.gov/caes