This month the CDC warned us that ticks will be out in full force this season. How much do you know about these dangerous little blood suckers? May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and this is what you need to know to stay healthy.
What is Lyme Diseases Awareness Month?
During the month of May, for Lyme Disease Awareness Month, activists across the US launch events, walks, speeches, activities, and ad campaigns to raise awareness about Lyme disease. The goal is to get people to share their stories, encourage activism, and to gain national media coverage about the disease.
The organization wants everyone to be tick smart, but they also want to encourage more research and coverage about the disease.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an illness caused by a bacterium found in tick saliva. The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi is found in infected ticks. The ticks most commonly associated with Lyme disease are deer ticks. They are also referred to as black-legged ticks. Deer ticks feed in the summer months, but the warm weather and early spring have caused an explosion in the tick population this year. Nymphs are usually the ticks that spread the disease, and they are the hardest to spot. Immature nymphs are only about the size of a poppy seed.
A tick must be attached for more than 24-48 hours before the disease can spread. Signs you need to see a doctor after suffering a tick bite include
- Red bulls-eye in the area of the bite
- Delayed motor skills
In most cases, doctors can treat Lyme disease with a series of antibiotics over the course of several weeks. If the Lyme disease is left untreated, it can spread to the rest of the body, specifically the heart, nervous system, and the joints.
How to Prevent Lyme Disease
The best way to protect yourself, your pets, and your family from Lyme disease is with diligence and prevention. Make sure your pets are up to date on their flea and tick medicine. When they come in from outside, do a thorough inspection of their bodies to make sure no ticks latched on.
When you and your family go outside, make sure you don’t leave without wearing bug repellent and bright clothing. Additional ways to prevent ticks include:
- Avoid walking through tall grass and weeds
- When you are outdoors, know where tick hotspots are
- Do a complete body, head, and clothing check when you go back inside after being outdoors
- Shower when you are back inside
- Landscape your yard in such a way that doesn’t invite or hide ticks – using stone borders between wooded areas and your yard etc.
- Consider professional tick treatment services
Adam’s Pest Control has a thorough tick prevention and control system. There are 13 species of ticks in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Don’t risk infection. To prevent Lyme disease in the ones you love, call Adam’s Pest Control today and ask us about our tick control program.