Living in the United States means that you are always at risk for tick bites. Common in every region, ticks carry life-threatening diseases like Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. With temperatures consistently above 50 degrees and summer right around the corner, it’s important to be aware of tick identification and prevention.
What Do Ticks Look Like?
Believe it or not, ticks are actually related to spiders. They have eight legs and can be reddish, black or brown in color. They range in size, being anywhere from the size of a sesame seed (before feeding) to a big as a nickel (after feeding).
What Do Tick Bites Look Like?
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to spot a tick bite from the beginning because most people don’t even feel them. This is why it is so important to check your body after spending time outdoors. Most people discover a tick bite from finding a tick on their skin.
What Are Ticks Dangerous?
It’s hard to believe that such a small insect can inflict such large health risks. While not all ticks carry harmful diseases, many carry diseases like Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Fortunately, Lyme Disease is treatable and rarely fatal. RMSF, on the other hand, can be fatal in the first eight days if left untreated.
Pay attention to the following symptoms, as they are commonly associated with Lyme Disease:
- Joint Pain
- Skin Rashes
- Severe Fatigue
RMSF symptoms are quite different. Keep your eye out for the following:
- Muscle Pain
- Abdominal Pain
- Red, Non-Itchy Rash
Tick Prevention Tips:
Ticks are mostly found in wooded areas or backyards. Follow these tips to stay tick-free.
Dress appropriately. Doing yard work? Going mountain biking? Taking a hike? If you know you’re going to be in a wooded area, wear appropriate clothing like pants, long sleeves, socks and a hat.
Wear bug repellant. Whether you’re trying to avoid mosquitoes, stinging insects or ticks, a good bug repellent never hurts.
Check yourself. After a long day spent enjoying the outdoors, it’s important to do a full body check for signs of ticks. Ticks are typically attracted to the warmer areas of the body like behind the knees, under the armpits and in the scalp.
If you’re hoping to prevent ticks this season (and who isn’t?) contact Aerex Pest Control.