First of all, What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is an inflammatory disease, starting with a rash, and then moving on to headaches, fevers, and chills. Lyme disease can also be followed by arthritis and even neurological issues and cardiac disorders. All of this is caused by ticks and be a horrid disease to be diagnosed with.
The name “Lyme” actually derives from the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, located in Connecticut. This is where several cases of diseases had been identified during the year 1975.
The Significance of Ticks in Relation to Lyme Disease
It should be noted that not all ticks carry the bacterium that transmits Lyme disease and their bite doesn’t necessarily mean the development of the disease. Usually, the Deer tick (an infected one, of course) would be the insect that would most likely transmit this disease.
You should also be cautious in knowing that Lyme disease isn’t the only sickness transmitted through the bite of a tick. Ticks also carry other bacteria. Because of the tick’s capability to transmit Lyme Disease, you need to be careful with outdoor activities, as summer is approaching and is the perfect temperature for insects of all sorts to come out, especially for those living on farms, where you’re taking care of livestock and trudging about in pastures.
Where Are Ticks Found?
It’s always safe to educate yourself on something you’re not very familiar with. In this case, the tick is something that a lot of people recognize, but don’t necessarily know a lot about. Here’s some helpful information on what they look like, where they’re found, and their habits, so as to better identify one.
Once a tick is attached they are very difficult to find, whether they’ve managed to attach themselves to a person or a pet. Ticks also don’t fly or jump or move in any acrobatic way such as that. And they certainly don’t drop from trees onto your head or back. So if you have managed to find one attached to that area, it probably latched on to your leg or even your foot and crawled up the entire length of your body.
Ticks are naturally capable of attaching to your head or ears. They’re naturally programmed to do that. The skin there is thinner and provides easier access for blood when they’re feeding.
All ticks come in various sizes, including the Deer tick. And they develop through three stages: Larvae (very small, sand-grain sized). Nymphs (almost the size of a poppy seed) and adults (equal size to that of an apple seed). If you manage to spot one that’s bigger than that, they’re most likely full of blood.
Ticks can be just as active in the winter as they are during the summer. Freezing temperatures can’t kill them. Deer ticks will be active during the winter day (as long as it’s not covered in snow) and other ticks will go into a feeding diapause once the days start getting shorter.
How can I Prevent Tick Bites?
Preventing ticks is a small price to pay for the sake of avoiding them altogether. A great option to consider is any kind of clothing with a built-in tick repellent. Wear clothing with what is known as a permethrin tick repellent, which effectively prevents tick bites. And it lasts through at least 6 washes. Use this repellent to enjoy the outside without the worry of getting bitten and possibly infected.
Tumble-dry your clothing on high heat: Research has shown that while many ticks manage to make it through the washing cycle even in hot water, it’s not the same story when your clothes enter the dryer. So be sure to kick up the heat when drying a load of laundry the next time you wash.
Wear clothing that’s light-colored: in doing this, it’ll be much easier to spot a tick on your clothing before it manages to come in contact with your skin.
Do a thorough check on your pets: Thoroughly check your pets before letting them back in the house. It’s easy for ticks to just drop off on your carpet or furniture, where they’ll sit and wait for a potential meal to pass by.
Wear clothing that covers you well, like long pants or hiking boots.
Finally, don’t be stingy with your bug repellent: Have it with you at all times and use it whenever it starts to wear off. You want as much protection and prevention from ticks as possible.
How do I remove a tick that’s attached to me?
First, let’s go over how to remove a tick from a person:
You need to use a fine pair of tweezers. With these tweezers, you’re going to want to grab the tick as close to its head as possible; (do not grab the belly, as you can push whatever liquid is in the tick back into your body) continue to pull the tick straight out, careful not to twist at all. This could result in breaking the head off the body, leaving it in your skin. And that’s not anywhere near pleasant.
Be sure to wash the area of the tick bite with hot water and soap, also washing your hands as well.
Now, then removing a tick from your pet, you’ll want to follow the exact steps listed above. And when you’ve successfully removed it, use a disinfectant to clean the area of the bite. And no matter what, use gloves when removing ticks. Don’t ever use your fingers, or you’ll come into contact with a potentially diseased tick.
If you have ticks around your yard or if you are concerned that you or your pests may pick up ticks, contact us at Alliance Pest Services today to learn about one of our tick services to keep your yard and property tick-free. Alliance is your Monmouth County local pest control experts. Learn more about our home and commercial pest control options!