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What You Need to Know: Tick Diseases

When ticks are out, they bring tick borne diseases with them. These viruses are most commonly contracted in Connecticut, and all of New England, between May and July, when nymph ticks are searching for food.


Common Tick-Borne Diseases

Ticks are known carriers of multiple diseases. Lyme disease is one of the more prominent tick diseases, and in recent months, the Powassan virus has gotten some attention as well.

  • Lyme Disease

Additionally, Lyme disease is caused by deer ticks that can carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and, rarely, Borrelia mayonii. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Lyme disease causes a rash, often in a bull’s-eye pattern, and flu-like symptoms. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. Joint pain and weakness in the limbs also can occur. Most people with Lyme disease recover completely with appropriate antibiotic treatment. For those who develop symptoms after their infection is treated, pain medications may provide symptomatic relief.

  • Powassan Virus

The second common tick-borne disease is known as the Powassan Virus. Pets appear to be fairly resistant to the disease but can act as a carrier of the virus. For people, the virus can be transmitted within 15 minutes – a contrast to the two days’ time for Lyme disease cases.

Related to the West Nile Virus, the Powassan virus has two strains in North America, one of which is transmitted to humans through deer ticks. According to the CDC, only 60 cases have been reported over the past decade, and while it’s concentrated in the Great Lakes and Northeast regions, deer ticks’ range is expanding, putting more people at risk. Recently, the Powassan Virus has been found in ticks in southern Connecticut, but no animal or human cases were reported in the area.

The Powassan tick disease infects the central nervous system, causing encephalitis, the swelling of the brain, and meningitis to develop. Those infected display such symptoms as a fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss, and may have neurological problems as a result. 10 percent of all cases are fatal, and those who survive may experience long-term complications.

There is no specific treatment if a human catches the Powassan Virus, although individuals have to be hospitalized for respiratory support, intravenous fluids, and treatment to reduce swelling of the brain.

Tick Borne Disease Prevention

Because of the severity of tick diseases, tick prevention is the key. 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 your garden.
  • Around other animals, including squirrels and rodents.
  • In overgrown, grassy areas.
  • Close to any perimeter vegetation, or areas that border a forest.
  • Walking along a regularly used path, such as a hiking trail.

Furthermore, here are some tips to help prevent tick bites:

  1. Avoid ticks by steering clear of wooded and bushy areas with high grass.
  2. If you have to go outdoors, wear long sleeves and pants, and spray yourself with tick repellant.
  3. Conduct full-body tick checks daily; check your pets when they come in from the outside.
  4. Keep your pets free of ticks by the application of good tick repellents, such as Vectra 3D, Frontline, or Nexgard.

Finally, it is important to note that ticks aren’t just in nature; they can be found on residential properties.

Tick Removal Services

As a result of the dangers that ticks present, learning about the tick removal process helps provide peace of mind. At the first sign of a tick infestation, contact Eliminate ‘Em Pest Control to schedule an inspection. Eliminate ’Em provides fast, professional, courteous service and licensed technicians for expert tick removal services. These include:

  • Surveying your property while keeping a tick’s lifecycle in mind.
  • Using an environmentally friendly tick removal solution on your property and in the surrounding woods.
  • Creating a less-inviting habitat. We repair crevices and gaps, cut grass to a short length, remove leaves and brush, and remove any bird or rodent nests.
  • Helping you set up a barrier – usually wood chips or gravel – to separate your lawn from any wooded areas.
  • Providing tips for tick control, tick treatment, and what to do if you’ve been exposed to ticks.
  • Inspecting your property once a month during tick season.

Eliminate ’Em Pest Control Services offers same-day service and free estimates for tick removal and yard treatment services. Call Eliminate ‘Em for Immediate Tick Extermination: (866) 652-1367.