What Is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a disease that is specifically caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. It is a disease that is transmitted to humans through the bite of a tick. Lyme disease is not limited to just humans; your pets such as dogs and cats can also acquire the disease through the bites of ticks and then bring those same ticks into your home if you do not perform a proper tick inspection. Only about ten percent of dogs show symptoms of Lyme disease. These symptoms are joint pain and stiffness and fatigue. When humans are infected they show many symptoms. Seek medical help if you believe you have been bitten by a tick and show any of the following symptoms.
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease For Humans Include:
- A bullseye pattern rash at the infection site
- Flu like symptoms such as hot flashes and chills along with a fever
- Fatigue and light sensitivity
- Headaches and dizziness
- Cognitive decline and confusion
What Exactly Is A Tick?
Ticks are parasites that live by feeding on the blood of mammals. They burrow their heads into their host and live by consuming the blood supply. Though they are parasites and can cause diseases; ticks are also a food source for reptiles and birds. Not all ticks cause Lyme disease; the deer tick is the most common culprit of this disease.
5 Facts About Lyme Disease:
1) Lyme disease is mostly transmitted by deer ticks. The deer tick is the most common tick to carry the disease.
2) The deer tick must be attached for 24 to 36 hours to have enough access to the blood supply in order to transmit Lyme disease.
3) Less than half of the people infected with Lyme disease receive the tell-tale bullseye rash so it is imperative to pay attention to all of the other symptoms as well.
4) Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics and most people recover completely.
5) Treatment can take two to four weeks to complete.
What Is Tick Prevention?
Tick prevention is utilizing measures to limit your exposure to ticks and the likelihood of a bite from ticks. It is unreasonable to remain indoors and out of nature. Ticks are commonly found in wooded areas and in back yards where wildlife such as deer, raccoons and even squirrels frequent. If your home has these types of wildlife visitors then you should add tick prevention treatments to your lawn management and lawn care routines. A pest control company or landscape company will be able to assist you in treating for these parasites and keeping your home and yard safe.
5 Methods For Tick Prevention:
1) Utilize repellents with permethrin or picaridin or DEET. These can be sprayed on your clothing or around your property.
2) When spending time outdoors in tick populated areas make sure skin is not exposed. Tuck pants into socks.
3) Have your home and yard treated with pest control grade repellent
4) Check yourself, pets and loved ones for ticks before entering your home. Remove any ticks found.
5) If you cannot use DEET use natural repellents that contain citronella and vinegar.
Identifying the deer tick and taking preventative measures will help reduce your risk of contracting Lyme disease. Hiking, biking and spending time outdoors should not be ruined due to a fear of Lyme disease. Prior to coming indoors always do a check for ticks on yourself, family members and any pets that may have spent time in areas that may have a tick population. You can also take preventative measures such as flea and tick treatments for your pets and tick and insect repellent sprays for yourself and family. After camping trips or hikes you should also have your vehicle vacuumed to catch any stragglers that may have hitched a ride with you.