Worst Tick Season May Be Upon Us
Tick season is upon us and some worry that it may be the worst one yet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tick-borne diseases are on the rise in the United States. More than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year, even though studies suggest that the actual number is closer to 300,000. Some people don’t realize that they have the disease because the symptoms can be attributed to other conditions.
The CDC warns that it’s still too early to predict what tick season will be like. Nonetheless, educating yourself on the topic will help you prepare for whatever the season brings. This past winter was mild with no substantial freezes, and because of this, the number of deer and mice has grown. Using these animals as hosts, tick population is strongly correlated.
New Tick-Borne Diseases Emerging as Threats
It’s not just Lyme disease that people have to worry about, but tick-borne illnesses in general. STARI is a southern tick-associated rash illness that is similar to Lyme disease. Patients may get a fever and can be treated with antibiotics.
Powassan disease is a viral illness transmitted by ticks. It starts with flu-like symptoms, headaches and weakness that can progress into inflammation of the brain. There is no cure for Powassan, only methods for treating the symptoms. Other tick-borne infections that are less common include anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia.
Preventing Tick Bites in Your Family
If ticks are prevalent in your area, or you know you will be in a heavily wooded environment, here are some tips to follow. Tick prevention is your best line of defense from being bitten.
- Use repellent that contains at least 20 percent DEET or picaridin on exposed skin, clothes, tents and other products
- Protect your ankles by tucking the pants into high socks
- Stay in the center of hiking trails to avoid vegetation
- Bathe or shower when coming indoors to wash off insects that might be crawling on the skin
- Conduct a full-body tick check using a full-length or hand-held mirror after returning from a tick-infested area
- Examine all gear and pets for signs of ticks
If you are concerned about ticks being on or near your property, call the exterminators from Heritage Pest Control. Get a free quote for your property and put your mind at ease.