Why Are Ticks Dangerous? How You Can Protect Yourself This Summer
Living in the United States means that you and your family are almost always at risk for tick bites. Common in every region, ticks carry serious diseases like Lyme Disease. With spring in full swing and summer on the way, you should be aware of ways to identify and prevent ticks from harming you and your loved ones. We’re going to discuss why ticks are dangerous and how you can protect your family this year!
Why Are Ticks Dangerous?
Ticks are dangerous because some of them carry diseases like Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). Without treatment, RMSF can be fatal in the first eight days of symptoms. On the flip side, Lyme Disease is only fatal in rare cases.
Individuals struck by Lyme disease should look out for symptoms like fever, headache, joint aches, and skin rashes. According to the CDC, about 60% of untreated patients have intermittent bouts of arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling. If left untreated, patients may also develop chronic neurological complaints months to years after infection — this includes numbness, pain, tingling in the hands or feet, and problems with short-term memory loss. In recent years, several celebrities such as Avril Lavigne and Debbie Gibson have come forward with their Lyme Disease diagnosis and have cited severe fatigue and weakness as the main symptom.
On the flip side, symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever include muscle pain, abdominal pain, and fever. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is a red, non-itchy rash usually associated with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which typically appears a few days after the initial signs and symptoms begin. The rash starts on your wrists and ankles but can spread to other areas such as the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet, and up towards your arms, legs, and torso.
Are All Ticks Dangerous?
Not all ticks are dangerous, but all ticks have the potential to carry diseases like Lyme Disease and become dangerous. Because of this, it’s important to treat all ticks like they are dangerous and take the proper precautions to protect yourself from them.
What Do Ticks and Tick Bites Look Like?
Did you know ticks are part of the same family as spiders? They have eight legs and range in color from dark reddish blacks to light or dark browns. Although their size differs, they can be as small as a sesame seed. However, after feeding (aka biting you), a tick can get as big as a quarter… yikes!
Ticks like warm areas, so you will most likely find them on the backs of your knees, your hair, and underarms, among other areas. Once ticks have attached themselves to your body, they’ll stay there for weeks. For many individuals, a tick bite doesn’t feel like anything at all. Because of this, they often go unnoticed. This is why it’s important to always check your body after spending time outdoors, even when in your own backyard!
How Can You Protect Your Family?
Ticks are commonly found outdoors in wooded areas and even in backyards. Here’s what you can do to keep your loved ones protected:
- Institute daily tick checks when you spend time outdoors. Like we said before, look in the warmer areas of bodies, like behind the knees and armpits, and in the hair and scalp.
- If you know that you or your family will be in a wooded area, be proactive and wear appropriate clothing such as long pants with socks tucked over.
- Wear bug repellant that contains permethrin, which is the only repellent strong enough to eliminate ticks.
- If you spend a great deal of time in your backyard, consider signing up for a tick treatment from a pest professional in the summer months to protect both your children and pets.
If you’re worried about ticks this season, let Anti-Pesto Bug Killers help with our pest control services in Tampa. Our inclusive package, Border Patrol Green Premier, includes protection and prevention against bugs such as roaches, spiders, wasps, termites, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and more. You can get full-force elimination and protection from these pests all year round, so you don’t have to worry about ticks in your own backyard.
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