Ticks are getting a lot of bad “press” lately and understandably so: the bite from a tick can lead to serious diseases such as Lyme disease, a condition that is curable but is highly debilitating. If you get Lyme disease, you can expect recovery to take months.
But are all ticks carriers of Lyme disease? No. The bite itself can be painless and go unnoticed (unless you happen to see the tick as it’s biting you).
In fact, according to MedicineNet.com, most people bitten by a tick won’t have any problems. Even those individuals suffering from suppressed immune systems (such as patients with HIF, cancer, or undergoing chemotherapy) should be OK (but these individuals definitely should let their physician know about the tick bite).
In addition, the quicker you remove the tick from your skin after it bites you, the less likely the tick will convey pathogens to your system.
Read below for some more FAQs regarding ticks:
What is a tick?
While tiny and insect-like, a tick actually isn’t an insect or a spider. It’s an arthropod (having an external skeleton and jointed legs), and is part of the mite family.
Are all ticks dangerous?
There are many different types of ticks throughout the world and the U.S. but thankfully only a relative view of them are dangerous to animals and humans. Those of us who work on farms (with farm animals), in zoos, or who travel to exotic places around the world may encounter the more dangerous type of tick.
So if I’m not a farmer or a traveler, I’m safe?
Unfortunately, no. While the only ticks that transmit Lyme disease are black-legged ticks/adult deer ticks (well established in the northeastern and north-central parts of the country) and while they must be attached for about 24 hours before they transmit Lyme disease, the incidence of Lyme disease is growing: the Centers for Disease Control reported 38,000 cases of the disease in 2009, three times more than in 1991. In fact, according to a July 2013 New Yorker article, “[m]ost researchers agree that the true number of infections is five to ten times higher.” What’s more, according to the article, transmission is rising in areas such as New England (the disease is well established here) and is even spreading south to Florida and heading west because of “changes in climate….”
How do I get rid of ticks in my yard or home?
If you have ticks in your home or yard, you need a solution fast. Our professionally trained and licensed tick exterminators will treat your home or lawn to get rid of ticks fast. At Nature’s Way Pest Control, we use only natural tick spray for proper tick extermination. Contact us to request a free quote today.
When do symptoms appear?
Symptoms of Lyme disease tend to appear between three to 30 days after infection, although symptoms can be delayed for months or even years. In fact, the well-known “bullseye” mark on the place bitten may or may not appear.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
Typical symptoms are weakness, fever, nausea, joint pain, a rash, swelling, numbness, and even confusion. What’s more, other symptoms and signs of disease can result from a tick bite depending on what type of pathogen its bite transmitted. According to MedicineNet.com, “[m]ore than one disease may be transmitted with tick bites; for example; some individuals may be infected with Lyme disease and babesiosis at the same time.”
If I’m bitten by a tick, what should I do?
- The first thing to do is remove the tick from your skin; the sooner you do so the better chance you have of avoiding a tick-borne disease. Here are the steps:
- Hold the tick as close to your skin’s surface as possible and pull it straight out. Don’t twist and don’t use a match or other hot item or cover the tick with oil – this won’t remove the tick.
- Pulling the tick out may require a bit more force than you would think, considering its small size. A fine-tipped forceps or tweezers are great, as are more specialized tools sold in pharmacies and at camping stores.
- You can use your fingers, but wear a plastic bag or protective gloves in case the tick bursts or splits.
- Save the tick.
- Wash your skin with soap and water and contact your doctor. The parts of the mouth of some ticks can become so well embedded in your skin that they can break away and stay in the skin. This usually isn’t a concern, as these are pretty much “splinters” and usually fall out within a few days as your skin sheds layers.
- Go see your doctor and bring the tick with you.
How can I prevent getting bitten by a tick?
Wear light-colored clothing, long sleeves, long pants, and a hat when walking in woody or grassy areas (tuck your pants into your socks). Be sure to periodically check for ticks and brush them off. Spray your clothes, hat, waistband, shoes, and socks with a tick repellent that contains a pesticide from the family of acaricides such as permethrin, which often is used in tick repellent (you can find it in camping stores), and is not known to seriously harm birds or most mammals. It’s poorly absorbed by the skin, which is why it’s best to spray it on your clothes. Permethrin has the added benefit of working against mosquitos, fleas, cockroaches, and lice. (You can use a repellent with DEET, but it’s not as effective against ticks.)
Perform a thorough tick check after walking/hiking. Remove your clothes and check your armpits, your groin area, under your breasts (for women), behind your ears, and between your toes and fingers (ticks like warm, moist spots). Check your scalp and under your hair.
Check your pets for ticks, as well. Dogs and cats can get Lyme disease, too.
Trusted Tick Extermination in NY & VT
Do you have ticks in your home? The best way to handle a tick infestation is through the help of a pest control expert. If you are having problems with ticks on your lawn or in your home, contact Nature’s Way Pest Control today for a free estimate to get of rid of ticks. Give us a call at (518) 745-5958 or fill out the form below to request your FREE inspection.