In Worcester, Massachusetts we are no stranger to Lyme Disease. According to the CDC, in 2014 we had the #2 most confirmed cases of Lyme Disease in the United States after Pennsylvania. Knowing the cause and symptoms of Lyme Disease is one of the most important pieces of preventing Lyme Disease and catching it early for better treatment results. In Worcester, the black-legged tick, otherwise known as the deer tick, is the main vector of Lyme Disease.
Deer ticks are among some of the smallest ticks. With each of their three stages of life, larvae, nymph and adult, they take a blood meal to enter into the next stage or in the case of an adult female, to lay eggs. When tiny larval ticks nest with mice and other rodents for their first blood meal, this is when they can first become infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria responsible for Lyme Disease. Once they emerge from the dens as nymph deer ticks they can then infect humans and other small mammals.
Deer ticks hang out in cool, moist places waiting for a potential host to brush on by. Called “questing,” they do not jump or fly, but rather wait at the end of a blade of grass or shrubbery with their front arms outstretched waiting to grab hold. Once they grab on, they quickly travel upward looking for a dark quiet place to embed themselves for a blood meal.
Just because you’ve been bitten by a tick does not mean you have Lyme Disease. If you find and remove a tick, tape it to an index card, write down the date and monitor yourself for symptoms. If symptoms occur, see your doctor. Symptoms of Lyme disease can include fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, a “bulls-eye” rash in 70-80% of cases, partial paralysis, especially in the face or meningitis. Treatment with antibiotics is usually successful and complete when Lyme is caught early.
Protecting yourself, your family and your pets in your own backyard is as easy as remembering the 6 C’s of tick control. Avoiding ticks and tick bites is the best way too prevent all tick-borne diseases. It is also important to follow your veterinarian’s recommended tick control method for your pets. If you are hiking, camping or spending time outside away from your Mosquito Squad of Worcester treated property, be sure to perform a tick check from head to toe upon your return. Infected ticks need to feed for 24+ hours before they can transmit Lyme Disease to you, making tick checks an important task.
At Mosquito Squad of Worcester, we offer a tick control program that approaches tick control in two ways. First, we use our traditional barrier spray to eliminate 85-90% of the adult ticks on your property. Paying special attention to areas where ticks like to hide, in tall brush, grass and along retaining walls. Next, we place tick tubes twice per year. Tick tubes are filled with treated cotton that mice take back to their dens for nesting material. When the larval and nymph ticks come in contact with it, they are eliminated. This effectively interrupts the tick life cycle, resulting in significantly lower tick populations on your property the longer you treat. Protect your family and yard from ticks with help from Mosquito Squad of Worcester. Call today. 1-877-78-SQUAD (77823)