Everything Hudson Valley Property Owners Should Know About Ticks & Lyme Disease

Many people are aware that ticks are a problem pest, but they don’t always realize how dangerous tick-borne illnesses can be. The most commonly known disease that ticks can spread is Lyme disease. This is a serious bacterial disease that can lead to joint problems and issues with your heart and nervous system.

Deer Tick

While there are many species of ticks that can carry Lyme disease, deer ticks are the most common vectors. While you might not notice ticks by their appearance, as they often bite you and fall off before you notice them, knowing what deer ticks look like can still be useful to tell them apart from other ticks.

  • They are a hard-shelled tick.
  • They have orangish bodies with dark brown legs.
  • They are flat, broad oval shapes.
  • They have eight legs, but they don’t have antennae.

One common misconception about Lyme disease is that ticks actually cause the disease, but this isn’t the case. They are only carriers, or vectors, for the disease. While this distinction is a useful one, the most important thing to understand is that tick bites, especially from deer ticks, can be dangerous and that avoiding tick bites is essential.

Deer Tick Bite Information

If you spend a lot of time in the wilderness, you’re likely aware that ticks are a problem. But ticks can also be found in other areas with dense vegetation and they do get into people’s yards. Deer ticks are able to find their hosts by sensing the breath and body odor of humans and animals, and they can even sense things like body heat and vibrations. They will wait near paths and areas where hosts often walk by and rest on the tips of grasses and other vegetation.

It’s important to note that not all tick bites will result in Lyme disease or any other diseases or side effects. Not all ticks carry diseases, but since it is such a serious illness, knowing the signs of a tick bite are important.

Tick bites can vary in appearance. Sometimes they cause redness, swelling, or rashes. But, in the case of bites that carry Lyme disease, one of the most telltale signs is a rash in the shape of a bullseye that spreads out from the center of the bite.

Here are some other symptoms of Lyme disease to watch out for:

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Tips For Preventing Deer Ticks

There are two general areas of tick prevention to address. First of all, you should take steps to lower tick populations around your yard, and second, you should know how to prevent yourself from being bitten especially when out hiking or in the outdoors.

Here are some of the best ways to prevent ticks around your Hudson Valley property:

  • Remove leaf litter and grass piles.
  • Clear tall grass and bushes around the exterior of your home.
  • Take steps to prevent wild animals in your yard.
  • Mow your lawn often.
  • Stack wood neatly in a dry area away from your home.

Some of the best ways to protect yourself, and your pets, from deer ticks when out and about include:

  • Wearing long pants and tucking your pants into your socks when hiking
  • Keeping flea and tick collars on your pets, and checking your pets for ticks when you come inside
  • Avoiding areas with thick vegetation
  • Staying on established hiking paths
  • Inspecting your skin for ticks after you've been outside

Get Help With Tick Prevention

If you have noticed any symptoms of Lyme disease, it’s vital to err on the side of caution and contact medical professionals right away. However, if you haven’t been bitten and are looking for tick prevention and assistance, contact the pest control experts at Pestmaster® Services today. We are able to provide comprehensive pest control with a focus on customizable options and affordable, sustainable services. Contact us today to learn more.