The Low-Down on Lyme Disease

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Ticks are a common summertime pest that almost everyone hates.  Nevermind the fact that they literally feed off of you, ticks can transmit a slew of diseases, including the infamous Lyme disease.  This summer, we want you to be protected against ticks, and know how to identify signs of Lyme disease before it is too late.

Ticks, especially the deer tick, are the primary vectors of Lyme disease, and will transmit the disease to your body within 36-48 hours of attachment.  If you remove the tick before that window expires, you should be good in most cases.  More often than not, humans are infected from the immature ticks called nymphs, which are no bigger than 2mm.  With their very small size, nymphs can crawl around and feed on you virtually unnoticed, so it is extremely important to check your entire body after spending a day outside.  Be sure to check your groin, underarms, and scalp, as these are the spots nymphs are most likely to feed at.

So long as you removed the tick within the window, your risk of contracting Lyme disease should be statistically insignificant—however, the risk is still there.  Be sure to watch out for the symptoms 3-30 days past removal of a tick, and should you find any of them, you should go and see a medical professional right away.  Common symptoms include a erythema migrans rash by the bite (known as the “bulls-eye” rash), fever, chills, headache, and swollen lymph nodes.  By seeing a doctor once you notice these, he will be able to treat you with antibiotics, and stop the disease before it gets worse.  To knowingly ignore these symptoms is tantamount to an irregular heartbeat, Bell’s palsy, and short term memory loss—all long-lasting effects of Lyme disease.

However, the best way to prevent Lyme disease is to prevent a tick from biting in the first place.  You can accomplish this by wearing long pants and shirts with long sleeves when outdoors, wearing appropriate shoes when walking in wooded areas (boots are recommended), and to keep all vegetation and wood manageable around your property.  By limiting the possibility of a tick bite, you in turn limit the possibility of contracting Lyme disease.

As with most other pests and pest-borne diseases, knowledge is your best weapon.  So long as you know how the disease transmits, the symptoms of the disease, and what you can do to prevent it, you have no need to fear.  If you are still worried, or if you have kids who are active outdoors, give us a call to see how we can help with tick prevention.  One call is all you need to protect your yard from ticks all summer long.

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