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Ticks and Tick Diseases

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Ticks and Tick Diseases

Ticks can be a huge problem in many areas of the country. They are also commonly associated with many diseases. Read on for more tips you should understand about ticks and the diseases they carry.

First, it is important to understand that tickers are actually more closely associated with arachnids rather than insects. This means they are related to spiders and scorpions. There are also actually two different families of ticks. These are hard ticks and soft ticks. Hard ticks have a smooth hard skin and a head that is apparent. These ticks transmit most of the common tick-borne diseases. They are most frequently found on pets as well as in the woods.

Soft ticks have skin that is leathery, tough and pitted. There is no apparent head. They are most commonly found on birds and in rustic areas such as cabins and caves.

Just a few known tick-borne diseases include human babesiosis, human monocytic ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and human granulocytic ehrlichisis.

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease. It occurs particularly in states such as Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon and California. There have also been an increasing number of cases noted in Southern and Southeastern states as well. Symptoms of this disease include a rash that appears like a bull’s eye around the tick bite. This generally occurs within here days to three weeks. Flu-like symptoms like headache, chills, fever and fatigue may also accompany the disease. There may also be severe nerve disorder in the later stages of the disease as well. Anyone who realizes they have been in an area where ticks may be found and develops such symptoms should immediately see a physician.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is most commonly found in the South-Central United States and the Southeast in states such as South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. Symptoms of this disease include chills, bloodshot eyes, muscle aches, high fever, malaise and headaches. These symptoms commonly appear within three to fourteen days after infection. There may also be symptoms such as delirium, sleeplessness and restlessness. In about half such cases a spotty red rash on the palms of the hand and the soles of the feet may also appear. There is a mortality rate of up to 25% associated with this tick-borne disease.

Considering the severity of most tick-borne disease the need to prevent and protect from ticks becomes readily apparent. First, it is important to void known tick habitats whenever possible. These habitats include the edges of trails and woods, leaf piles and low growing brushy areas. When you must be in these areas make sure you wear long sleeved shirts, long pants and clothing that is light-colored as well as repellent. Always make sure you check yourself thoroughly when you have been in a potentially tick infested area. It is imperative that ticks be removed within 24 hours in order to prevent them from transmitting any pathogen to you.

To remove ticks from areas take care to remove brush and leaf litter. It is also important to call in a trained and certified exterminator to remove ticks in these areas. He or she can use a special pesticide that will eliminate the problem based on the type of infestation present. Toward that end, if you find a tick in or around your home always make sure you save it in a plastic bad to save for identification by your exterminator. This can help him to better address the problem and can also be helpful in the event you develop any type of disease after coming into contact with the tick.