During the warm months, it seems like ticks are just about everywhere. You take a walk in the woods, you come back with one crawling around in your shirt. You’re trying to enjoy a nice picnic in the park when you notice one sneaking across the blanket towards you – trying to set up a picnic of its own. Even your yard isn’t safe!
Far from being just another annoying bug, ticks are a serious threat to your health. Let’s talk about some common ticks in our area, the diseases they spread, and what you can do about them.
Monmouth County Ticks And Their Diseases
The three main disease-spreading ticks in New Jersey are the lone star tick, the deer tick (or blacklegged tick), and the American dog tick:
- Lone star ticks are easily discernable because of the obvious white spot in the dead center of their otherwise brown bodies.
- Deer ticks are tiny – not much bigger than the head of a pin, and the front half of their bodies is darker than the back half.
- American dog ticks are dark brown with white or cream-colored markings just behind their heads.
These ticks spread a number of serious illnesses including:
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (American dog ticks)
- Anaplasmosis (deer ticks)
- Babesiosis (deer ticks)
- Lyme disease (deer ticks)
- Powassan virus (deer ticks)
- Ehrlichiosis (lone star ticks)
Of all the illnesses on this list, Lyme disease is the most well-known, most common, and many times most dangerous. If allowed to go untreated, Lyme disease can lead to lifelong neurological, cardiac, and/or joint damage, brain injury, and even death. Fortunately, if you catch it early, Lyme disease treatment is as easy as taking some antibiotics. If you have any of the following symptoms in the weeks after receiving a tick bite, seek immediate medical help:
- Rash that looks like a bullseye expanding around the site of the bite (erythema migrans)
- Body aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Joint pain
What To Do If Bitten
If you find an unfed tick crawling on you – congratulations! You haven’t been bitten yet. Just grab the tick with your fingers and flush it down the toilet or pull its head off (it’s almost impossible to crush an unfed tick, so don’t bother with this method).
If you find a tick embedded in your skin, however, you’ll need to get it off as quickly as possible. Use fine-point tweezers to grasp the tick and pull it straight out of your skin. Don’t jerk or tear, and do your best to avoid puncturing or crushing the tick before you get it out. Full ticks are a lot easier to squish, so you’ll have to be gentle.
Most of the time, you won’t need to do anything to treat your tick bite except wash it with soap and water and put a little Neosporin on it if you’re worried about infection. However, don’t hesitate to see a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms we listed above after being bitten.
What To Do About Ticks
Unfortunately, it’s easy to get a serious tick infestation on your property. If one or two of them hitch a ride into your yard on you or your pets, it can be just about impossible to get rid of them. The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone. Here at Alliance Pest Services, protecting your family from ticks and other dangerous pests is our #1 priority. We have over 30 years of experience offering safe and effective home pest control treatments for a plethora of New Jersey pests. So give us a call at (888) 904-7507 or visit our contact page to schedule your service today!