May is Lyme Disease Awareness month and our goal here at Mosquito Squad of the North Shore is to raise awareness of the importance of safe tick practices such as tick identification and proper tick removal. One way we are helping residents of the North Shore gain knowledge of tick safety is by learning how to properly identify a tick. Different species of ticks carry different diseases and it is important to be able to identify the type of tick you are dealing with.
Ticks that are prevalent in the North Shore area are the deer tick (or blacklegged tick), and the American dog tick. Both nymph (young) and adult deer ticks will bite humans. The highest risk of being bitten by a deer tick occurs throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons. However, adults can also be out searching for a host any time winter temperatures are above freezing. Deer tick nymphs are the size of a poppy seed and deer tick adults are the size of a sesame seed. Deer ticks are responsible for the spread of Lyme Disease, Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis. Although rare, it is also possible to contract more than one tick-borne illness at once from a single tick. This is what is referred to as comorbid tick disease. Generally, the most common form of comorbidity is Lyme Disease and Babesiosis or Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis combinations.
The American dog tick is responsible for the spread of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia. In general, only the adult dog tick will bite humans. The highest risk of being bitten by a dog tick occurs during the spring and summer seasons. Adult dog ticks are about the size of a watermelon seed.
The most important thing to remember if you do find an attached tick on yourself, a member of your family or even your pet is not panic. Becoming anxious and panicking can lead to improper removal of the tick itself which can perpetuate the spread of a potential disease in many cases, so stay calm. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but according to the CDC, a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively. First use the tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as is possible. Once you have a firm grasp on the tick pull upward applying steady pressure. Never twist, jerk or manipulate the tick in any way because this will lead to breakage of the tick’s mouthparts which can lead to them staying intact in your skin. In case this happens, carefully remove the mouth parts with tweezers as well. Following removal clean the bite area with iodine, alcohol or soap and water. If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick. It is even suggested to keep the tick in an empty medicine bottle or other container in case you experience symptoms of Lyme Disease. In many cases, having the tick will allow for further testing if needed to properly diagnose and treat the disease.
The American Lyme Disease Foundation has joined forces with Yale School of Public Health and the US Centers for Disease Control in introducing a new “high tech” way to aid in identifying ticks, and to reduce the risk of being in a highly tick prevalent area without being aware of it. A Lyme disease application for iPhones will inform users on the abundance of infected ticks at their specific location (within the US) as determined by GPS. If ticks are determined to be present, the user is given a list of precautions to avoid tick-bites. A tick identification chart is provided with life-size photos of deer ticks so that each life stage can be determined. The app also provides instruction on how to properly remove a tick along with a narrated video. This resource takes users a step further by outlining the symptoms of Lyme Disease, advising users to seek medical attention when they feel a tick has been attached 48 hours or longer, or are experiencing symptoms they may be infected. The application even includes a physician locater to find the doctor nearest to you, again using GPS location, and provides the phone number and directions to each physician’s office. This innovative application called “Lyme Disease Tick Map” became available on the Apple iTunes store on April 30, 2010 amid outstanding reviews.
Mosquito Squad of the North Shore is taking Lyme Disease awareness a step further by providing a tick control program that is focused on eliminating your exposure to potentially infected ticks within your yard. We combine tick tube implementation with our highly effective barrier spray program to eradicate both deer ticks and American dog ticks within your treated area. Our proven combination targets ticks at various stages of their life cycle and can reduce the amount of ticks that could be carrying Lyme Disease in your yard by up to 90%.
Contact Mosquito Squad of the North Shore today to learn more about our effective tick control program and spread the word to your friends and neighbors because communication is the key to raising the awareness and success of reducing the cases of Lyme Disease here in Massachusetts. Call us today for a free quote • (978) 887 -1177 • email: email@example.com
Please follow this link to learn more about getting the Lyme Disease application for your iphone https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lyme-disease-tick-map/id369913510?mt=8