May 6, 2013
It’s that time of the year when we need to turn our awareness to the threat of Lyme disease in Arkansas. And with May being Lyme Disease Awareness Month, pest professionals, doctors, as well as the CDC are all sharing their knowledge about what Lyme disease is, how we get it and how we can avoid it. For families in Little Rock, Fayetteville and throughout Arkansas, it is time to protect your property and family from ticks and Lyme disease!
Lyme disease is contracted via tick bites from an infected blacklegged tick (AKA deer tick). Well, technically the bacterial infection that is Lyme disease begins with an infected host (which can be mice, deer or other wildlife). When a tick feeds on an infected host, they become infected with the bacteria. Later, when ticks are most active during the spring and summer, they find humans to latch onto for a blood meal thus spreading Lyme disease to us.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that in the first stages causes mostly flu like symptoms - headaches, fever, chills and fatigue. There is also a bull’s-eye rash that may form around the area of the tick bite. If you have been in an area known to have Lyme disease infected ticks, even if you did not see any ticks on yourself, make sure to watch out for these symptoms and seek medical attention if they do occur. The next stages of Lyme disease can become more serious if the bacterial infection is left untreated - severe headaches, stiffness, shooting pains, swelling and soreness of the joints, even Bell’s palsy.
In order to avoid Lyme disease and its potentially harsh symptoms, it is important to avoid encounters with ticks. This does not mean you have to cancel your plans to go hiking or camping or stop enjoying outdoor activities; it just means that the entire family needs to become aware of how to prevent tick bites. From our team of AR pest control professionals, here are a few tips to avoid tick bites and Lyme disease:
Avoid areas that are wooded or have tall grass. If you can’t, try to walk in the center of trails, avoiding the transitional areas where the trail ends, the woods begin and the ticks are waiting for a host.
Apply insect repellent if going into wooded areas. Repellents that contain DEET are most effective in preventing tick bites.
Wear light colored clothing so that if a tick does latch onto you, it will be easy to identify. Also, try to cover your entire body in clothing so that skin is not exposed.
After spending time outside in areas known to have ticks, try to shower within 2 hours, as it will be easier to identify any ticks crawling on your skin.
Check your entire body for ticks and make sure to check your children as well.
Don’t forget to regularly inspect your pets for ticks and be sure that they are up to date on tick treatments.
To learn more about Lyme disease in Arkansas and ways to get rid of ticks in Little Rock, Fayetteville, Hot Springs, and surrounding communities, please contact McCauley Services today! Our home pest control services are a great way to keep ticks and many other insects and rodents away from your home and property.
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