Are ticks an issue in California? According to research from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), more than 10,000 people have been discussing ticks on Twitter within the past 30 days. The answer is: yes.
Why is Clark, your friendly pest, mosquito, and termite control – and grounds care – expert, talking about ticks? First, this is National Tick Awareness Week. And second, according to a recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll, one in five (22 percent) Americans knows someone who has contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite.
Ticks live in tall grass and wooded areas, where they wait to grab onto passing hosts so they can feed. Anyone spending time outdoors should protect themselves against these pests, because although they are small, the diseases they can pass on from a bite are quite dangerous.
What to know about Lyme disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human cases of tickborne diseases have been steadily rising in recent years across the country. Lyme disease, one of the most common illnesses caused, has been diagnosed in all 50 states, and is more common than previously thought. The CDC recently increased its annual estimate of people diagnosed and treated with the disease by 45 percent to half a million.
Transmitted by infected blacklegged ticks, Lyme disease is known for causing a circular red rash to appear at the bite site. However, the disease can cause more symptoms beyond the bull’s-eye rash, such as joint pain, fever, and chills. In serious cases, or if the disease is left untreated, Lyme disease can result in arthritis, facial palsy, heart, and nervous system issues, as well as brain and spinal cord inflammation. Tickborne diseases can be transmitted quickly into a person’s bloodstream, sometimes in as little as 36-48 hours after the initial bite.
Although Lyme disease is treatable, it can easily be confused with other conditions, and disease cases are vastly underreported.
Prevent ticks with these five tips
Clark Pest Control recommends that you follow these tick prevention tips to avoid tick-related health threats to your family and pets.
- Always apply an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
- Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toe shoes when outdoors. Choose light-colored clothing that makes it easier to spot ticks and other insects.
- Keep grass cut low, as ticks are found in tall grass. Remove weeds, woodpiles, and debris.
- Inspect yourself and your family members, as well as your pets, carefully for ticks after being outdoors. Ticks can hide in clothing and in the fur of your pets.
- Protect pets by reaching out to your local veterinarian. They usually offer a variety of products for protecting animals from tickborne diseases.
If you have questions about ticks or Lyme disease (May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month), call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at email@example.com.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.