The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) is spreading awareness about a particularly dangerous insect and its side effects during the second annual Tick Awareness Week, happening May 8 - 14, 2022.
Although commonly mentioned in a list of summer’s most annoying pests, ticks can cause serious health problems for people and pets across the entire country. Whether you own a home, are an outdoor enthusiast or own a pet, ticks should be top of your priority list this season.
Below you’ll learn more about some of the diseases ticks carry, how to prevent these unwanted critters from joining your summer festivities, and some of the professional services available to help you combat the problem.
Tick Diseases and Regions
Although ticks are usually talked about in reference to the Northeast, they and the diseases they carry have actually been detected in all 50 states. After the initial bite, tickborne diseases will enter a person’s bloodstream within 36 - 48 hours. It’s important to know the early signs and symptoms of these illnesses, so you can recognize them and seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Anaplasmosis has been detected in the Midwest and most of the East Coast and is transmitted through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick. Symptoms usually appear within two weeks following a bite and can include fever, headaches and nausea. In rare cases, this disease can cause respiratory failure, bleeding issues and even death.
This disease is transmitted by the same blacklegged tick and can take up to nine weeks for symptoms to appear. These symptoms include fever, fatigue and nausea, but some recipients may even be asymptomatic.
Ehrlichiosis is widespread across the Eastern half of the United States. It’s transmitted through the bite of an infected lone star or blacklegged tick. Symptoms can appear within the first five days after a bite and include chills, muscle aches and headaches. But more serious symptoms can include damage to the brain and nervous system, organ failure and uncontrolled bleeding.
The CDC estimates that approximately 476,000 people may get Lyme Disease in the U.S. every year. The best-known tick-related disease is transmitted from an infected blacklegged tick. The telltale sign of Lyme Disease is the bull’s eye-shaped rash that appears at the bite site. Initial symptoms typically include chills and joint pain, but Lyme Disease can also cause devastating long-term effects such as arthritis and damage to the nervous system.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
As its name suggests, this disease can be found throughout the United States, including the Western region. Milder symptoms include a body rash, fever and nausea, but this disease can cause more serious effects such as permanent damage to blood vessels, paralysis, mental disability and even death.
Tularemia has been detected throughout the United States and is commonly transmitted by the American dog tick, lone star tick and Rocky Mountain wood tick. Symptoms usually include fever, chills, joint pain and loss of appetite.
Tick Prevention Tips
Ticks aren’t as far off as you might imagine. It’s quite easy for these critters to find their way onto your property and pose a danger to you and your family. Here are some easy prevention tips to protect your property this spring:
- Keep the grass cut short to prevent ticks from burrowing in the tall brush.
- Remove leaf litter and piles where ticks can burrow.
- Trim vegetation and shrubs back from the edge of the property to remove tick habitats.
- Fence your property to prevent wild animals out that can carry ticks.
- Secure bird feeders and garbage cans that can attract animals that carry ticks.
If you spend time outside this summer, it’s also important to know how to check yourself and your loved ones for ticks once you come inside. Remember, tick diseases typically enter the bloodstream 36 - 48 hours after a bite, so you should detect and act quickly.
Ticks normally seek warm and moist areas on the body, so check the following areas:
- Back of the knees
- Along the inside of the legs
- Around the waist
- Under the arms and in armpits
- Behind the ears
- In and around head hair
If you have pets, it’s equally important to check them after you’ve come in from outside since ticks can often go unnoticed in fur for days. Check the following:
- Around the ears
- Underneath the collar
- Along the legs and in between the toes
- In and around the tail
If you do find a tick, follow these steps to remove it safely and effectively.
Professional Tick Services
Whether you’ve already noticed a tick infestation on your property or are simply looking for extra preventative measures this summer, consider calling a professional pest control company. Pestmaster® offers both one-time and recurring mosquito and tick control treatments for the exterior of the home to keep the pests at bay.
Protect your family’s health and wellness this season and enjoy your outdoor space to its fullest. Contact us today to get a free quote.