Ticks are a nuisance every year, but 2021 could be one for the record. With warmer and wetter weather, tick populations will be higher than normal. The question you might have now is, which ticks make you sick? According to pests.org, the Northeast is already a hotspot for Lyme disease, and that risk is expected to grow in 2021 as well. Studies from the CDC show that Lyme disease cases have doubled since 2000 and 300,000+ people get it each year. We all need to take precautions for ourselves and family members to protect against these pests.
When Are Ticks Most Active?
Although ticks are active throughout the year, they are most prevalent between late spring, throughout the summer, and early fall. In addition, ticks thrive when it is humid, so this wet spring may boost tick activity.
Which Ticks Are Prevalent in Virginia?
The three most common ticks in Virginia are the American Dog Tick, the Blacklegged Tick, and the Lone Star Tick.
- If the American Dog Tick has not fed, it will look reddish brown and about 3 mm in length. If it is fed, it will have a bluish-grey color and can be up to 12mm.
- Male Blacklegged ticks are black, like their name, and females have a dark red colored abdomen that may appear black as well.
- Blacklegged ticks will be about 5 mm long unfed, and as much as 10 mm if fed. A Lone Star tick is a reddish brown, and females will have a whitish spot on their back.
Which Ticks Make You Sick?
Ticks carry diseases that are dangerous to the host. The American Dog tick may carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia. Blacklegged Ticks can carry Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, or Lyme Disease. The Lone Star tick can carry Ehrlichiosis or Tularemia. The most common tick-borne illness for Virginians is Lyme Disease. The first sign of Lyme Disease is a circular rash (what appears to be a target) at least 2 inches in diameter which can grow to 12 inches in diameter. Symptoms of Lyme Disease can include debilitating fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headaches, mental fog causing difficulty with memory or finding words, irritability, and sleeplessness.
What to Do if You’ve Been Bitten
Expose the area by pulling back any hairs that may be covering the tick. Use tweezers to pull the tick out. Make sure to grasp the tick’s head. If you only grasp the tick’s body, its blood may be injected into your skin. Dispose of the tick by throwing it away in a trash can with a lid or flushing it down the toilet. Wash the bite mark and your hands with soap and water. If you develop any symptoms, contact your physician.
How to Prevent Ticks
Avoid potentially infested areas such as tall grass and dense vegetation. Use Environmental Protection Agency-registered repellents. Tuck pant legs into socks to prevent ticks from coming in contact with your skin. Mow the lawn frequently and clear tall grass and brush around your house. When returning from outside, check yourself, children, gear, and pets. For more information, please refer to: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks
If you’re still concerned about which ticks make you sick or would like to have ticks in your yard treated, CONTACT Holistic Pest Solutions at 434 842 1700. Whether you’re in Charlottesville, Waynesboro, or nearby either, Holistic Pest Solutions has the perfect pest plan for you! Our treatments are mindful of our clients, and our Earth.
*Our Environmental Commitment: Holistic Pest Solutions is committed to the preservation of our environment. Our goal is to nurture the soils and plant life of lawns and landscapes. Utilizing holistic pest control practices that cause the least amount of impact on the environment.