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Tips About Ticks

A local Mom's exsperience

By Molly Bybee, local Mom and R+F Consultant & Amber Nevin, Macaroni Kid Wilkes-Barre Publisher August 15, 2021

Ticks...living in northeastern Pennsylvania most families have had at least one unfortunate run in with ticks! With the threat of on-going health issues that can be caused by Lyme disease, this can be super nerve wracking for parents. There is a lot of mixed information on what to do when you find a tick on your child, how to prevent them from getting ticks etc.. I have a local friend and mom Molly Bybee who has spent the last couple of years dealing with lyme related illness in BOTH of her children. Molly has proved to be a valuable resource to support other friends and families by sharing her knowledge and experience with ticks and has kindly put together the information in this article. 

Molly recommended the website https://palyme.org/what-is-lyme as a great resource for information on Lyme.

Although ticks can be found almost anywhere, shady areas like the woods, edge of the woods, and areas with high weeds/grasses are where they prefer to hang out. As we enter into the fall, leaf litter will become a huge concern! A pile of leaves is an enticing play area, but it's also the perfect tick habitat. Personally, I TRY to keep my kids away from leaf litter altogether. When we come inside from outdoor play, I check them over for ticks from head to toe - scalp, hairline, ear crevices, behind the hears, arms and armpits, neck, torso, belly button, groin, legs, and in between toes. If you do find a tick, Pennsylvania has an amazing free resource through ticklab.org at East Stroudsburg University. Ticks in any condition can be mailed and tested for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.- Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Testing & Statistics | PA Tick Research Labticklab.org


Tips for Prevention/ Bug Sprays:

  • The type of bug sprays to use is personal preference. 
    • Some people prefer to use natural bug sprays with essential oils.
    • Others recommend bug sprays containing Deet.
  • If we know we'll be in a high risk area, we usually layer both! Permethrin spray is an option which kills ticks on contact. It is ONLY safe for clothing, not human skin so labels need to be read carefully and clothing allowed to dry before wearing. 
  • There are also various sprays that can be used to treat the lawn to deter ticks. 


Lyme is known as "the great imitator" because it is often misdiagnosed as other illnesses. The telltale bullseye rash does not always appear, and some ticks are so tiny that they might never even be found. Since they were babies, I have checked my kids for ticks. We have NEVER found one, yet both of them were diagnosed with Lyme. Their symptoms were very different. One of my children had a bullseye rash and severe knee pain; the other had high fevers every 3 weeks for an entire year before I thought to push for Lyme testing. According to PAlyme.org, "Children and youth are the most likely victims of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Their initial symptoms may go unrecognized and may be considered normal childhood illnesses, allowing the disease to progress untreated. By the time it is clear there is something wrong, the presenting symptoms are often neuro-cognitive, usually showing up with behavior changes, changes in performance at school, and psychiatric issues." I don't want parents to worry that every little complaint from their child could be Lyme, but my advise is to watch for patterns of new, odd symptoms and behaviors. If multiple unrelated things seem to be "popping up" it could be worth asking your child's doctor about Lyme testing! If you are looking for a local doctor that specializes in lyme illnesses you can use this resource to "FIND A LYME LITERATE MEDICAL DOCTOR"  or take to social media to ask local friends and family in your community for support, advice, and experiences. 

Molly is an awesome REAL MOM that shares her motherhood journey openly on social media while running her successful Rodan and Fields Business! She has graciously offered anyone with questions about ticks and her journey can reach out to her directly via social media! 






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