Ticks are small and very patient. They can spend days, weeks, and even months sitting on a blade of grass waiting for someone to brush past. This is essential as they can’t jump or fly. But, as soon as someone brushes against the grass they will walk onto the creature. In many cases, this is n animal, such as your pet dog. But, some ticks are quite happy to step onto humans.
Once they are on your skin they will walk around until they find a nice place to latch on. They then start to suck your blood. They will continue sucking until they are full enough and then drop off by themselves. It is possible that they could do this without being noticed by you.
However, when they suck your blood they also allow some of their saliva to enter your body. If they are carrying Lyme disease or any other infection it can be passed on to you.
It should be noted that, in most cases, the tick will need to be attached for at least 36 hours before a disease can be transmitted. In addition, adult ticks are generally large enough to be seen, it’s the nymphs that are most likely to survive more than 36 hours on your body without being seen.
That’s why it is essential that you check your body for ticks after walking in long grass. You should also keep your own grass short and find a pest control near me to inspect your home and garden to ensure you don’t have an issue with ticks.
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Understanding Lyme Disease
If you contract Lyme disease you are likely to experience fever, headaches, tiredness, and you’ll develop a skin rash, which is generally referred to as erythema migrans.
In the majority of cases, Lyme disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics. You should be able to eliminate the disease within 2-3 weeks.
However, if the disease is left untreated it will spread and affect your nervous system and even your heart. It can also affect your joints. In some cases this can cause death, in others, it will mean you have a variety of health issues, including arthritis for years.
This s why it is so important to take precautions against ticks, such as using insect repellents and staying covered up.
The good news is that not all ticks carry Lyme disease. In fact, it is only the Ixodes tick that can carry and spread the disease.
The black-legged tick is the common name for the Ixodes tick. In the mid-western and Eastern parts of the US the most common version of the black-legged tick is the deer tick.
These ticks are roughly the size of a sesame seed and, unsurprisingly, have black legs. The main issue with these ticks is that they need three blood meals from different hosts over two years. In this way, they can feast on a deer, a mouse, and a human. Unfortunately, the tick will pick up bacteria from the animal hosts and these are passed onto the human, causing Lyme disease.
While the adults are sesame seed size and relatively easy to spot, the nymphs are the size of a poppy seed, you’ll need to be much more vigilant to see these.
Where You Find Black-Legged Ticks
Black-legged ticks live where their hosts live although they prefer moist and shady areas. As mice, deer, and other animals can roam anywhere in the world, you can find these ticks almost anywhere.
That makes it hard to avoid them. You can reduce your risk of being bitten by one by:
- Avoiding tall grasses as this is one of their favorite hiding spots
- Cover your body completely when walking in grassy and woodland areas.
- Take your tick protective clothing off outside the house and shake to ensure there are no ticks on them
- Examine yourself daily to ensure you don’t have any ticks. Remember, they go for hidden spots and they can be very hard to spot
- Use tick repellent, it works and the cost is minor in comparison to your health
By using simple precautions you can reduce your risk of contracting Lyme disease. But, if you think you have caught it get yourself checked and treated as soon as possible.