According to the CDC, Lyme disease in Massachusetts has reached the level of epidemic. There were 3,646 confirmed cases in 2014, being only second in the country to Pennsylvania. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria spread to humans and pets from the blacked legged, or more commonly called Deer Tick. With a large deer population and a moist wooded climate, Massachusetts is the perfect breeding ground for these ticks, making protection and prevention a must!
People tend to be fooled into thinking that ticks are only out in summer. The truth is the tick life cycle lasts 2-3 years and ticks can thrive in the colder weather we have here. In fact, according to the TickEncounter Resource Center, ticks may remain active all winter long as long as the ground is not frozen. So if ticks are out and feeding, then contracting Lyme disease is possible throughout this period as well.
If you become bitten by an infected deer tick, you may see symptoms in anywhere from 3-30 days. These can include rash – often described as an expanding “bullseye” formation, fever, chills, muscle ache and stiffness, and fatigue, generally treated with oral antibiotics. Lyme disease that goes untreated can lead to Bell’s Palsy, headache and stiff neck due to meningitis, swelling and severe pain of the joints, dizziness, and irregular heartbeat.
If you know that you have been bitten, it is best to mark that date on a calendar and make your doctor aware if any of the above symptoms arrive. Everyone’s bodies can react differently, so you may have some symptoms yet not others. It is always best to get checked out. Early detection and antibiotics give you an excellent chance of getting over the disease in a few weeks. However, deer ticks are relatively small, from the size of a coffee ground as a nymph tick to the size of an apple seed as an adult. Detection of these ticks on you and your pets requires due diligence at this small size.
When outdoors, whether it’s hiking or walking and exploring, it’s best to wear light colored clothing that will show the dark-colored ticks. Also, tuck pants into socks and do tick checks daily after spending time outdoors. As far as your yard and home, let us handle the protection for you. At Mosquito Squad of the North Shore our barrier spray can eliminate 85-90% of adult ticks in your yard. We apply the spray every 2-3 weeks, all season long. Our tick tube system goes further to stop ticks at the earlier stages of the life cycle, eliminating them before they become adults. We also must remind you to follow our 6 C’s of tick proofing your yard.
Lyme disease is a major concern here in Massachusetts, but with our 100% satisfaction guaranteed service, Mosquito Squad of the North Shore works with you to create a plan that keeps your yard, pets, and family protected. Call us today for a free consultation (978) 887-1177 or email us at [email protected]