Ticks have become an insidious problem all over the United States. Aside from being a general nuisance, some of these creatures could also cause some major issues with your health. Here is everything you need to know about ticks and how to protect yourself and the people around you from them.
Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, and western blacklegged ticks can transmit Lyme disease through their bites. Both species of tick have seen an increase in population.
According to Fox News, the western blacklegged tick has seen a small increase in its population spread, from a presence in 3.4% of counties to 3.6% since 1998. In contrast, the blacklegged tick has almost doubled the number of areas it is established in and is now reported in 45% of counties, up from 30% in 1998.
Ticks thrive in warm, moist environments and are most prevalent in wooded areas and heavily grassed portions of land. The biggest increase in population size has occurred in the Northeast portion of America, where the summer weather is conducive to their survival and breeding habits.
Lyme Disease: Everything You Need to Know
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that, if left untreated, could cause serious harm to your health. People of all ages can be affected by Lyme disease. If an infected tick grabs onto you, there is a chance you might be infected. This disease was originally considered an East Coast disease, but it has now spread to areas all over the United States. Many times, doctors misdiagnose Lyme disease because it has similar symptoms to other diseases.
One of the first symptoms that can present is a rash in the shape of a bullseye around the bite area. However, this will not necessarily appear or, if it does, may not take that shape.
Other symptoms that could be present with this disease include:
- Severe headaches
- Neck stiffness
- Rashes on other areas of the body
- Severe joint pain/swelling in the joints
- Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face)
- Pain in tendons, muscles, bones and joints
- Irregular heartbeat
- Dizziness or shortness of breath
- Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
- Nerve pain
- Shooting pain, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
- Short-term memory loss
If you notice any of these symptoms after being in a heavily-wooded area, you should head to your doctor. The sooner you catch it, the better the results are. Although this disease is treated common antibiotics like amoxicillin and doxycycline. There are also other antibiotics that might be used in conjunction with these.
No matter where you are, there is a chance of ticks being around, especially if you leave in a wooded area. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to prepare before they come. Here are some tips you can use to protect yourself both inside and outside your home:
- Wash clothes in hot water after being outside in areas that may have ticks
- Wear tight-fitting clothes that cover most skin
- Treat all pets with flea and tick prevention products
- Clean regularly and keep floor clear of clutter
- Cut back brush along property lines
- Keep grass short
Getting rid of a tick infestation
There may well come a time where an infestation occurs regardless of taking the appropriate steps to avoid it. In these cases, it is best to call in pest control professionals like UltraPro Pest Protection to rid the home of these pests.
Professional exterminators will not just eliminate the ones already inhabiting your home, but they will also take preventative measures to protect your home from any future issues.
Ticks are an unfortunate reality of living in America, especially in the Northeastern states. With their populations on the rise, it’s vital for homeowners to protect their family and property. By educating yourself and following these tips, you can limit your chances of getting one of meeting one of these creatures when you least expect it.