If you've encountered ticks at some point, whether it was from your dog or from a hiking trip, you've definitely heard of the disease associated with them.
Lyme Disease is an infectious disease that's caused by three different species of bacteria that belongs to the genus Borrelia. Early symptoms caused by Lyme disease can include a fever, headaches and fatigue. A rough estimate of 70 to 80 percent of infected people will experience a rash. However, that rash is rarely itchy or painful and can be warm to the touch. The remaining 20 to 30 percent of those infected most likely won't experience any rash-like symptoms.
If symptoms are go untreated, they affect your joints or heart and, in some cases, your central nervous system. Symptoms can generally be treated using antibiotics, especially if you're able to treat it in its early stages. But delaying the treatment of Lyme disease, or treating it with inadequate medicine, can result in a disabling effect which can be difficult to treat.
Adult deer ticks (scientifically named Borrelia burhdoferi sensu stricto) is the leading cause of Lyme disease in northern America. Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of ticks that are infected. This disease is the most common among tick-borne diseases.
Signs of Lyme Disease and its Symptoms
Lyme disease is capable of affecting multiple body systems resulting in a wide range of symptoms. However, not all infected persons will experience every single symptom. And any symptoms that are the result of Lyme disease can be caused by other diseases as well.
The nymphal stage of a tick is the cause for most cases of Lyme disease, which can occur most often between the months of May and September. Only 7 percent of infected persons will experience Asymptomatic infections, which are most common in Europe.
Any early, localized infection is where the disease hasn't spread. It's the area affected where infection made first contact with the skin. This can be classified as a circular rash that expands outwards, occurring at the site 30 days after a tick bite. The rash will be red in color and might be warm to the touch. However, it's generally painless. The innermost portion of the site will remain a dark red and will be thicker and firmer. This can make the rash look similar to that of a bull's-eye pattern.
80 percent of people who become infected will have a rash due to early infection. They also might experience symptoms relating to that of the common flu, such as fever, headaches and sore muscles.
Early and Late Disseminated Infection
From a few days to a few weeks after the initial infection, the bacteria are capable of spreading to your bloodstream. Other skin conditions associated with this can include a purple-colored lump that can appear on the ear lobes or nipples and, in worst cases, the scrotum. Discreet symptoms that can occur include pain which migrates from your muscles to joints and to tendons. You might eve experience dizziness and heart palpitations.
Late infections can occur after several months of an untreated or under-treated bite, capable of affecting several parts of the body including the brain, heart and nerves. This is a stage in which the infection has spread throughout the entire body.
Transmission of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is classified what is known as a zoonosis. This means that it's transmissible to humans from rodents by ticks that feed on both types of hosts. Most of the time, infections are caused by ticks that are still in their nymphal stage since they're small and can feed for a considerable amount of time without being detected.
You won't often notice the bite of a tick because of their small size and due to their secretions which numb the area, preventing the host from feeling any pain from the bite. Transmission is a rare occurrence, but when it does happen it'll occur within 24 hours of being bitten.
Wearing protective clothing like long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and shoes and socks can be an effective preventive measure in keeping ticks off. Wearing lightly-colored clothing can help you spot ticks more easily before they have the chance to attach itself. You should also take special care in allowing any outdoor pets inside, as they can easily carry ticks into your home.
Any insect repellents containing Picaridin, DEET, or lemon eucalyptus oil can repel ticks, as well.
Reducing the population or primary hosts around your property, such as rodents and other small mammals, can significantly reduce the population of incoming ticks.
Removing Ticks in New Jersey
Finding any attached ticks should prompt you to remove it immediately. The removal of a tick can reduce the rate of transmitted diseases if done so within 36 hours of finding one.
The most effective method to remove a tick is to use a pair of tweezers, bringing them as close to the skin as possible. Remove the tick without twisting, taking care to avoid crushing its body or removing just the head. If a tick remains attached for under 24 hours, the chances of being infected are very slim.
To make sure your home is protected against ticks and rodents, call Alliance Pest Services today. Alliance is your New Jersey pest control experts.