As the weather turns warmer and people spend more time outdoors, tick control becomes more important. Ticks spread diseases that can make humans and pets ill. Learn about these common tickborne diseases and how to properly control ticks in your environment.
Diseases Caused by Ticks
Since a tick feeds by taking in a blood meal, when it attaches to a person, it can spread bacteria through the feeding process. Some tickborne diseases go unnoticed as they do not cause severe symptoms, but others may require medical intervention. Diseases spread by ticks vary based on where you live, but the following are the most common tickborne illnesses in the United States:
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Colorado Tick Fever
Mild symptoms to look for after a tick bite are fatigue, headaches, fever and, sometimes, a rash. If recognized early enough, most of these diseases can be treated with a round of antibiotics.
Best Ways to Prevent Tick Bites
Before traveling to an area where ticks are suspected, make sure to spray yourself with an insect repellant that is known to keep ticks at bay. Ticks tend to live in tall grasses and shrubbery so stay close to clear trails to decrease the chances of stepping into their habitat. It is best to wear light-colored clothing that completely covers the legs and arms. By wearing light colors, it is easier to locate any ticks that may have attached to you. Once inside, check your entire body, plus your pets, for any ticks. Ticks must be latched onto a host for several hours before they can transmit disease so early removal decreases your chances of catching a disease.
By following a tick control protocol, including tick repellants, adventures in the outdoors can be less hazardous. By properly preparing, you can prevent the spread of common diseases to you and your family, including the furry members.