Spring events encompass a variety of outdoor activities from yard work and landscaping to BBQs, camping and hiking. Families have looked forward to these fun-filled activities with great anticipation after such a long, arduous winter. However, there is one looming thought that can quickly put a damper on things. The very thought of a small, blood thirsty tick attaching and helping itself to a warm blood lunch is way more than some people can handle.
In reality, a tick bite poses a potentially dangerous risk of tick borne diseases. Ticks are very complex creatures belonging in the same family as spiders. The tick does not fly or jump but rather crawls onto a new host in search of his next meal. The nymph and adult ticks must have blood to survive and normally have no preference of whether the source of blood comes from humans or warm-blooded animals.
Fortunately, most ticks are not carriers of diseases. However, it is impossible to look at a tick and determine whether or not it is a carrier of pathogens and a transmitter of a dangerous or deadly disease. Some of those tick borne diseases include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, Tularemia, Relapsing Fever, Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis.
Tick borne diseases in New Jersey are not transmitted or spread between people but rely on ticks for transmission. Any tick who feeds on small infected mammals becomes infected and then passes that disease on to people and animals when they bite them. The disease transmitting ticks in New Jersey include the deer tick, Lone star tick and the American dog tick. Anytime an infected tick bites an individual they are at risk of becoming infected with a tick borne disease.
Some of the initial symptom of tick borne diseases often includes a skin rash, fever and/or chills, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain and stiff neck. These symptoms can show up as early as 3 days after being bitten. Early diagnosis makes for more effective treatment and cure. Blood tests are needed for proper diagnosis. Once diagnosed, treatment of antibiotics usually proves to be successful.
The seriousness of tick borne diseases is something every New Jersey resident should be aware and especially those who love spending time outdoors. With that in mind, here are few preventative measures to keep you tick-free or at least more cautious.
- Wear long, light-colored clothing when going outdoors.
- Avoid walking through wooded areas, tall grasses and shrubs.
- Stick to the center of trails when hiking and/or walking and away from weeds, bushes and trees.
- Keep the grass in your yard cut short and any brush or leaves removed.
- Be extra cautious during May, June and July, as ticks are most active during that time of year.
- Speak with your vet about flea and tick treatments for your pets.
If you’ve discovered a tick problem, contact ChemTec Pest Control. Serving the residents of New Jersey since 1931, we offer tick abatement services that will help you reduce the tick population on your property.