Warm weather is finally here and that means you’ll probably be heading back outside to hunt, fish, camp and generally enjoy the great outdoors. And while being able to spend more time outside is great, it also means you’ll be more likely to come into contact with ticks and all the diseases they carry. We’re sure you’ve heard of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but do you know what kind of ticks carry these diseases and how to spot the symptoms? And what about other, less common tick-borne diseases? Many ticks, like the deer tick and the dog tick, can carry and transmit multiple diseases, making them a real pest. It’s also important to know about different types of ticks and the risks associated with their bites because you’re not the only one at risk. Ticks also pose a great danger to our furry friends, especially dogs, cats, and horses.
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF): this disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the American dog ticks, brown dog ticks and Rocky Mountain wood ticks through a bite. Symptoms include headache, fever, vomiting and muscle aches. Some people will also develop a rash that looks like spots. If you suspect you or a family member have RMSF, seek medical attention immediately as the disease can be fatal if not treated properly.
- Lyme disease: this bacterium is spread to humans from the bite of an infected black-legged tick. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, fatigue, headache and a rash which looks like a bullseye around the site of the bite. Lyme disease can be treated easily with antibiotics if caught early, but if left untreated can lead to serious, lasting damage. Make sure to seek medical attention if you or a family member exhibit symptoms of Lyme disease after a tick bite.
- Tularemia: the bacterium that causes this disease can be transmitted by the bite of an infected dog tick, wood tick or lone star tick. Symptoms include extremely high fever, and ulcer at the bite site and swollen lymph nodes. Tularemia can be serious if left untreated; make sure to seek medical attention if these symptoms occur after a tick bite.
- Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI): this rash is transmitted from the bite of the lone star tick and is often accompanied by muscle and joint pain, fatigue, headache, and fever.
- Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF): passed on by the bite of soft ticks, this bacterial infection is usually seen in hunters and campers who have spent extended time in rural areas. Symptoms include high fever, joint pain, and headaches which last for three days, then go away for a week, then come back for three days, then go away for a week. Without proper antibiotic treatment, this pattern can continue for a long time.
There are some simple steps you can take to prevent tick bites and make sure you don’t have to worry about any of these diseases:
- When hiking, avoid heavy brush and walk in the center of trails.
- Wear long sleeves and pants and make sure to tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks.
- Use a tick repellent that contains between 20 and 30 percent DEET and always follow the bottle’s instructions when applying the product.
- Bathe within 2 hours of coming indoors and conduct a full-body tick inspection with a mirror.
- Make sure to check armpits, belly button, behind the knees, in and around ears, in the hair and other, similar places that would be easy for a tick to hide.
- Examine all gear and pets that were also outside as ticks can come inside on a coat or bag and attach to a person or pet later.
- Tumble try clothes on high heat for an hour to kill any ticks that are hiding in clothing.
- Call Emtec Pest Control to come spray your property for ticks so you never have to worry about these pests in your own backyard.
We hope this information about ticks and tick-borne diseases keeps you and your furry friends safe and sound this spring and summer. If you have any questions or want to set up an appointment to spray your property to protect against ticks, you can get in touch with the tick prevention experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling 918-663-0613 or by filling out our online contact form. Our service areas in Northeast Oklahoma include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Stillwater, Tulsa, and the surrounding areas. In Central Oklahoma, we service Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon, and the surrounding areas. You can also connect with us on social media for more helpful pest control tips and information.
At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too. If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form. Our service areas in Northeast Oklahoma include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Stillwater, Tulsa and the surrounding areas. In Central Oklahoma, we service Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon and the surrounding areas. You can also connect with us on social media for more helpful pest control tips and information. We are on Facebook.