During this month of May, Lymedisease.org wants to remind you that ticks are dangerous and can cause serious illnesses. May is also the month when the CDC warned us about the increased populations this year. The milder winters may feel nice, but that means fewer bugs died off in the cold. Now we are dealing with an exploding tick population. Are you prepared? Avoid the ticks this spring with a few helpful tips.
Identifying Ticks in NJ
Common tick species found in Bergen and Passaic counties in New Jersey are the blacklegged tick, the lone star tick, and the American dog tick. The blacklegged tick, also known as the deer tick, is the one responsible for spreading Lyme disease to both humans and animals.
You can identify a blacklegged tick by its reddish-orange abdomen on females, black bodies on males, or dark brown to black coloring on nymphs. The most distinct marker of the blacklegged tick is its tear-drop-shaped abdomen. The deer tick is most active during the Month of May and through the remainder of summer. Female and nymph blacklegged ticks are the ones that transmit disease.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
The odds of contracting Lyme disease are high, as 20-50% of blacklegged ticks have the bacterium that transmits the disease. If an infected tick does bite, look out for these signs of Lyme disease:
- Fever and chills
- Muscle ache and fatigue
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Joint ache
- Bulls-eye rash that develops at least 3 days after being bitten by an infected tick
It is important to note here that most people tell you to look for the bulls-eye rash as the surefire sign you have been infected, but not everyone develops the rash. The bulls-eye rash occurs in 70-80 percent of cases. If you are concerned, go to the doctor to make sure, even if you don’t have a rash.
Ways to Keep Ticks Away
You can’t prevent every tick bite, but you can protect yourself and prevent most of them.
- Wear brightly colored clothing so you can spot ticks easier
- Inspect yourself, your kids, and your pets before re-entering your home
- Wear pants, especially if you are hiking or walking in tall grass
- Use an insect repellent
- Trim your yard
- Get your yard treated for ticks
Call ChemTec for tick control. We help you identify areas where ticks are most active and treat those areas for ticks. To learn how you can reduce the number of ticks on your property give us a call today.