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CT Tick Testing Program Adds Two More Diseases

bigstock-beautiful-children-posing-in--14832464Ticks are known carriers of multiple diseases – Lyme disease being one of the more prominent cases, and in recent months, the Powassan virus has gotten some attention.

Because of this, along with advances in technology, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station added two more diseases to its Tick Testing Program. In place since 1990, the program now analyzes local tick populations for three diseases, and has shortened its detection time from weeks to days.

New molecular methods and working with the U.S. Centers for Disease control have made this possible. Not only can the program identify these diseases, but they can additionally detect them in three days’ time – down from three weeks.

While Lyme disease – on the rise with a seven-percent increase in 2015 and found in 34 percent of all blacklegged ticks – is tested, the other two conditions now include:

  • Anaplasma Phagocytophilum – A bacteria that causes granulocytic anaplasmosis. Currently, 3.6 percent of ticks on Connecticut carry this disease.
  • Babesia Microti – A protozoa that causes babesiosis, found in 12 percent of the state’s tick population.

Tick Prevention Steps

How do you know if you’ve been bitten? Generally, a tick bite results in localized redness and is accompanied by itching, burning, or intense pain. However, before this scenario occurs, it’s a good idea to scan yourself, any children, and all pets after you come in from the outdoors, especially if you’ve been in the woods or tall grass. The earlier a tick is caught, the easier it is to identify whether it carries any of the above diseases.

Additionally, although we think about ticks during the spring and summer, they may be around all year because they can survive in temperatures as low as 32°F. For more information on where you may encounter ticks, here are some common ways ticks latch onto you or your family members:

  • Being outdoors (by yourself or with a pet).
  • In in your garden.
  • Around around other animals, including squirrels and rodents.
  • In overgrown, grassy areas.
  • In close to any perimeter vegetation, or areas that border a forest.
  • Walking along a regularly used path, such as a hiking trail.

Finally, it is important to note that ticks aren’t just in nature; they can be found on residential properties. If you suspect an infestation, working with a pest control expert like Eliminate ‘Em helps with:

  • Creating a less-inviting habitat: We can repair crevices and gaps, cut grass, and remove bird and rodent nests.
  • Surveying your property while keeping the pest’s lifecycle in mind.

Instead of dealing with Lyme disease, keep your property tick free with tick treatment and extermination. As these pests are on the rise in Connecticut, ensure your lawn and grounds stay safe. Contact our team to learn more.