main page books and articles schaller health creed facebook testimonies search
menu main page what's new second opinion new patient meet doctor schaller location, travel

Lyme Disease in Ticks is Not Killed by Washing Machines

When he found a live lone star tick on the agitator of his washing machine, entomologist John Carroll decided to find out how tough ticks are. So he bagged up nymphs from two species—the lone star tick and the deer tick, the creature that transmits Lyme disease—and put them in the washing machine.

Carroll used a combination of water temperature settings and detergent types to wash the ticks. The majority of lone star ticks survived all the water-detergent combinations with no obvious side effects. Most of the deer ticks lived through the cold and warm water settings as well. But when one type of detergent was used with a hot water setting, only 25 percent of the deer ticks survived.

When it came time to dry, all the ticks of both species died after an hour of tumbling around at high heat. But when the dryer was set to "no heat," about one-third of the deer ticks and more than half of the lone star ticks survived. Some physicians experienced with Lyme report that a mere ten minutes in a hot dryer kills deer ticks, but this research proves that is false and a serious error.

Some tick species have been observed to survive hours of submersion in fresh water.

Both adult ticks and nymphs can transmit disease. Carroll's research suggests the need to wash and dry clothes at high temperatures after spending time in areas known to harbor ticks. Since many infectious ticks are virtually invisible and inject a pain killer, anti-histamine and anti-coagulant, it is profoundly easy to miss a bite. And since the frequency of any diagnostic rash is unknown and may be a small percent of patients and in areas poorly visible, only washing and drying on high heat after one sees a tick is unwise and risky. It is usually the tick you never see that makes you sick. And sometimes it is later bites after the lack of treatment, that really make you ill. with edits, large omissions and inserts not part of the article. Source of Carroll's useful research only. To see exact un-redacted and Schaller amplified article, please go to this link.

Bank Towers, Tamiami Trail, Naples, FL
disclaimer privacy