Growing Tick Populations – How To Protect Yourself

Homeowners in Charlotte and across the Carolinas are well familiar with ticks and some of the dangers they pose. Somehow these high grass dwellers usually make their way to what they consider safety, such as hair on your head or hiding in pet hair. Once they bite they can be difficult to remove. 2022 is expected to be an explosive year for tick populations and the experts at Nelon-Cole want you to be prepared!

TICK DANGERS

Disease-carrying ticks can be found in all 50 states of the United States, and they have significantly increased their geographical range in the past 15 years. They are also reproducing in greater numbers in this time. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the number of tick-borne diseases more than doubled between 2004 and 2016 and is expected to increase still.

due to their small size ticks are notoriously difficult to spot

These increases can largely be attributed to environmental changes including warmer and wetter weather. With the increase in the tick population comes increased risks. Some of the more well-publicized diseases that ticks can spread include

· Lyme Disease

· Anaplasmosis

· Babesiosis

· Ehrlichiosis

· Powassan Virus Disease

· Borrelia miyamotoi Disease

· Borrelia mayonii Disease.

· Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)

Though Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are perhaps the best-known ailments attributable to tick bites, they are far from the only risks. At least seven new diseases spread by ticks have emerged since 2004, with some that can be fatal if not caught early.

IT ISN’T JUST TICKS

Disease-carrying ticks aren’t the only increasing danger for Carolina homeowners, especially outdoors. Mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, dengue, and chikungunya are also increasing, largely due to the very same environmental factors. When disease-carrying mosquitoes reach a new area in the U.S., there are standard public health responses, including population control methods, with cities, towns, and counties conducting mosquito abatement campaigns. But when ticks move in, you’re often on your own.

Lone Star ticks have traditionally lived in the Southeast, but as the climate warms they’ve been spreading. They can now be found as far north as Maine. In addition to the meat allergy, Lone Stars carry Bourbon virus, Heartland virus, Southern tick-associated rash illness, and the pathogens that cause the bacterial infections ehrlichiosis and tularemia, which is so infectious it’s considered a potential biological weapon.

Eastern black-legged ticks, known as deer ticks, are expanding their range, too, bringing Lyme disease as well as Babesiosis, Powassan Virus, and more. So are dog ticks, which can carry the potentially deadly Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Gulf Coast ticks, the vector for a milder illness called Rickettsia Parkeri. Checking your pest carefully and proper grooming habits can help stem pet problems. Should you find an established tick bite on a pet it is a good idea to give a call to a qualified veterinarian to learn any immediate dangers and what steps to take.

check pets carefully - their coarse fur can make them difficult to find

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM TICKS

In addition to the lawn treatments that Nelon-Cole can use to combat tick infestations, there are some common-sense precautions you can use to help protect yourself.

  • Use a reputable insect repellant to cover any exposed skin. You can also wear long pants and sleeves, especially if you are going to be in uncut grassy areas.

  • When returning home, throw your clothes in your clothes dryer on high heat for around 10-15 minutes. This should kill any ticks that have grasped on and made their way into your home.

  • Thoroughly inspect your skin from feet to head, especially to places that ticks are known to attach themselves.

If you find that a tick has attached itself to you, you can attempt to remove it using a pair of fine tweezers. The CDC instructs that you should grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull straight upward steadily—don’t twist or jerk your hand. Ticks tend to crawl around on skin before they find a place to attach, so you might be able to find a tick before it bites. The longer they’re attached, the more likely they are to transmit disease. For example, a tick is usually attached for 36 to 48 hours before it transmits Lyme disease.

KEEPING TICKS OUT OF YOUR LAWN

Ticks love to hide in high, uncut grasses, so one of the best defenses is to keep a well-trimmed lawn. Likewise, your Nelon-Cole technician can apply safe and effective treatments to help prevent various types of common lawn pests, including ticks.

We encourage all Carolina homeowners within our markets to call us with their lawn treatment questions. Consultations are always free and our experience and award-winning experts are eager to help educate you and react should your needs warrant it. Call Nelon-Cole today at 1-888-7-TheWeb and take advantage of our years of experience in keeping Carolina homes and businesses pest-free! Charlotte Pest Control Services.