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Protection from Lyme Disease from Ticks or Mosquito-borne Illnesses on your Homestead

Mosquitoes and tick-related diseases are on the rise. It’s gotten so bad in some parts of the country that some communities in urban areas have taken to widespread applications of insecticides to kill off the flying pests. While covering up and staying away from insect-prevalent areas may be the official advice from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for homesteaders and farmers, it’s completely impractical. The CDC also advises the application of insecticide poisons and destroying tick habitat, the exact opposite of how we manage our organic growing fields and pastures at Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B. While not our strategy, we’ve met many homesteaders who have embraced having tick predators, like guinea fowl and chickens, around, allowing them to roam free to eat ticks.

Dealing with Lyme disease in the Upper Midwest, let alone other parts of the country, can be daunting, often perplexing the local health care system. My son most likely had Lyme disease off-and-on for over a decade before my wife Lisa Kivirist and I had to switch health care provider from The Monroe Clinic in Monroe, Wisconsin, to Lutheran Gundersen in Hillsboro and work with a doctor who was willing to examine the symptoms and listen to the patient and consider that we actually do live in an extremely dangerous area with respect to prevalence of the black legged ticks (deer ticks), the usual transmitter of the dreaded and debilitating Lyme disease and other tick-related infections after being bit. Our doctor at Gundersen was actually willing to make a clinical diagnosis of my son’s infection. As it turns out, the official blood tests for Lyme are extremely unreliable, offering both false negatives and positives. In the case of my son, the blood test did, eventually, come back positive, confirming the clinical diagnosis.

Read the full article by John D. Ivanko and Inn Serendipity on Mother Earth News' website here.

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October 21, 2023

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The Original Guide to Living Wisely. MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been helping readers live more self-reliant, sustainable lives since 1970.

Launched in 1970, MOTHER EARTH NEWS features practical and money-saving information on organic gardening; do-it-yourself projects; cutting energy costs; using renewable energy; green home building and remodeling; rural living; and conscientious, self-sufficient lifestyles.

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