Ticks are dangerous parasites that are classified as arachnids, and therefore are closely related to spiders and mites. Ticks attach to the skin by biting and suck blood for nutrients. It’s not the bite itself that makes a tick dangerous, but rather the numerous diseases they can be carrying that they may spread to humans. In the summertime, ticks are prevalent in fields, wooded areas, and on pets. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how you can keep you and your family safe from tick-borne diseases this summer!
Most Common Tick-Borne Diseases
Different species of ticks carry and cause different diseases. The various species also vary in population depending on area and period. However, some species are more common, and the rate of occurrence for some diseases is higher. Below are some of the most common diseases that ticks carry:
This disease is spread through bites from black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks. Lyme disease is the most common and widely known disease from ticks. The early stages of this disease manifest flu-like symptoms, including rashes and fever. Over time, when not treated, this disease can lead to several severe complications. Lyme disease affects the brain, especially parts involved in memory and thinking capacity. It can also cause heart problems and joint pains.
Babesiosis is another disease that can be spread by deer ticks. This disease causes flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, or fatigue. Babesiosis can be life threatening to those who have preexisting conditions like cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, and other conditions that weaken the immune system.
Rickettsiosis is another common tick-borne disease that is transmitted by Gulf Coast ticks. Symptoms of rickettsiosis can include a legion at the site of the tick bite, fevers, headaches, rashes, and muscle aches. Another common tick-borne disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), is the most severe and the most common form of rickettsiosis.
Other tick-borne diseases include the following:
- Colorado Tick Fever
- Heartland Virus
How To Prevent Tick-Borne Diseases
The best way to prevent tick-borne diseases is to protect yourself and your family from tick bites. Preventing tick bites requires extra effort because ticks are common in summer, the time of year when most people spend the most time outside. Ticks do not just live in thick wooded areas; they can also be in open fields and even in your backyard.
Tips on preventing tick bites:
- Know where ticks might commonly live, and avoid those areas whenever possible
- Treat clothing with permethrin, an insecticide that repels ticks
- Use insect repellents
- Wear pants and long clothing whenever possible to avoid skin contact with long grass
- Shower & check for ticks soon after being outside
- Examine gear and clothing after being outside
- Treat your pets with tick medicine
- Check for ticks on your pets regularly
Contact Pied Piper Pest Control!
Pied Piper Pest Control provides pest control services for ticks and a wide range of other pests throughout the Greater New Orleans area! If you have any additional questions about ticks or believe that you may have a tick problem in or around your New Orleans area home, please contact our team at Pied Piper Pest Control right away! Our team has years of experience dealing with these pests and will help ensure that they won’t come back once they’re gone! Give us a call today at (504) 366-1333 or fill out the contact form on our website, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!