Lyme disease is the most common insect-transmitted disease in the United States with the blacklegged tick considered the number one vector. The blacklegged tick is also known as the deer tick or a bear tick, but they are all the same tick. Blacklegged ticks are a lot smaller than the wood tick, also known as the dog tick. The female tick is red and dark brown and the male is dark in color and smaller. The adult females and nymphs are the ones that transmit infections through their bite. The Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, is spreads through the bite of ticks that are infected.
How is Lyme Disease Spread Via Tick Bites?
Ticks can be found in any areas that provide food and cover for the white footed mouse, deer and other animals. These areas include wooded, brushy areas and the fringe areas between the woods and border. These areas also give ticks the humidity they need to survive. They will hang out on the tips of low-lying vegetation and shrubs and will wait for a host to come by and attach themselves. They do not jump or fly. After they attach themselves to a host they will crawl till they find a place to bite. Most of the time humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks and nymphs. Adults can be transmitters too but because they are easier to see and can be removed before they have a chance to transmit the bacteria. Ticks need to be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more in order for the Lyme disease bacterium to be transmitted. Ticks feed in the spring and summer but can be active all year long.
Lyme Disease Prevention
The best way to keep ticks away from your home is to reduce humidity levels by keeping your lawn and brushes trimmed and keep leaf litter away from the house. If you have wooded areas on your property it’s a good idea to keep them clear of vegetation. Protect yourself when outdoors by always wear tick repellent that has at least 20 percent DEET and wear light colored clothing so they’re easier to see. Wear long sleeved shirts and pants and tuck you pants into your socks. Check yourself before going into your home to reduce chances of bringing them inside. If you happen to find a tick attached to your skin it’s important to remove it the right way otherwise you risk infection. Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick. Grasp the tick as close to its mouth as possible as this is the part of the tick that is stuck in your skin. If you grasp the tick by its body, you risk forcing infected fluid into your body. Pull the tick straight out and don’t twist it because this might leave the head in your skin. Wash the area with lots of warm, clean water and wash your hands with soap and water. If you feel that you’re having a reaction to the tick bite, or you think you might have contracted Lyme disease, it’s imperative to get medical help immediately.
Tick Control Services in Cibolo, Universal City, New Braunfels & San Antonio Texas
Even though the number of Lyme disease cases seems to be lower in Texas than it was previously doesn’t mean you don’t need to be concerned because their numbers are well established. Contact A Five Star Termite & Pest Control for help to reduce your chances of getting sick from the bite of an infected tick. We offer expert tick control and other professional pest management services.