What are Ticks
Experts predict that ticks and the diseases they cause will be more abundant due to warmer winter temperatures. Ticks are not insects, they are arachnids, like the spider, they have eight legs when they reach adulthood. Life begins as an egg, and then ticks develop through larval and nymphal stages before reaching maturity.
Risk Related with Tick Bites
To survive, ticks must eat the blood of mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians. If infected with bacteria, viruses or parasites, a biting tick poses a risk to human health.
Ticks Living Areas.
Ticks can be found in our backyards, under leaves, on ground cover, around walls and near structures and woodpiles where rodents and other small mammals are active. They are mainly active outdoors in wooded areas amongst shrubs, trees and tall grasses.
Types of Ticks.
- Black Legged Ticks. Black-legged ticks (also called deer ticks) make their home throughout the Northeast and upper Midwest. Nearly 90% of ticks in the Northeast and upper Midwestern US are black-legged ticks.
- Dog Ticks. Dog ticks are common in the Midwest and Eastern US, with limited numbers on the Pacific Coast.
- Lone Star Ticks. The lone star tick, which can be found throughout Southeastern and Eastern states.
Disease Caused by Ticks
Just three species, black-legged (deer), dog and lone star ticks can transmit up to 15 diseases. Black Legged Tick is involved in transmission of at least five important disease agents”: babesiosis, anaplasmosis, Borrelia miyamotoi infection, Powassan virus and Lyme disease.
Symptoms of Tick Infection
Most infected people will never show symptoms, but some develop fever and headache. About 15% of patients who are infected and have symptoms are not going survive, of the survivors, at least 50% will have long-term neurological damage that is not going to resolve. You basically feel nonspecific flu-like stuff, including “muscle aches and pains; maybe you have a little rash on your skin. Lyme is the most common tick-borne disease by far.
Tick Bite Pain
Tick bites are usually painless. Generally, people cannot feel the tick bite, but after a day or two, they sense a mild itching. Ticks tend to migrate to moist, “warmer parts of the body,” including the groin, armpits and scalp. Ticks are also often found behind the ears, behind the knees and around the waist.
How to Remove Ticks
Use fine-tipped tweezers and pull the tick straight out with steady pressure. Do not jerk it up, work slowly, and then thoroughly clean the bite area with alcohol and then soap and water.