This past weekend for Father's day our family went out on a little adventure, the dad's wanted to go shoot some guns on a local wooded piece of property that is owned by family. I stepped out of the car for maybe 5 minutes taking in the wild flowers and general beauty around us before I headed back to town while the guys had their fun. On the ride back I looked down at my shirt and realized I had a tick crawling on me. I was outside for 5 minutes total. Not under any trees or near any brush. Just walked through the grass to take some instagramable wildflower photos and leaned against one of the vehicles to watch the excitement for a few minutes. After the guys got back I cautioned them to check themselves over for ticks really well. They had taken precautions with bug spray but still a few of them ended up with ticks on them as well. It was just that easy, five minutes in the wilderness and I had a tick exposure. Even though the tick that was crawling on me was easily identifiable, they are not always so easy to spot. A tick can be as small as a poppy seed, so be sure to be checking yourselves, your children, and your pets over thoroughly!
There are actually a host of diseases that Ticks can transmit here in the United States. A couple of the most common are Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. How do you know if you have the symptoms of infection?
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Symptoms usually begin between 3-5 days after exposure but can take as long as two weeks. These are some symptoms that may be experienced:
- Rash that begins on wrists and ankles and then spreads along limbs and hands and feet. Rash may or may not be present in infection.
- High Fever
- Severe Headache
- Muscle Aches
- Nausea and Vomitting
- Confusion or other Neurological Changes
What to do: See your doctor if you become ill and suspect you may have been bit by a tick. If possible bring the tick with you to help with diagnosis. Do not delay seeking medical attention as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can lead to organ failure, amputation, and death in severe cases
Symptoms usually begin between 3 and 30 days after tick bite.
- Muscle and joint aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Erythema migrans rash: may feel warm to the touch but generally not itchy, and can extend up to 12 inches across. As it clears it may lead to the bulls eye appearance.
If Lyme disease is not treated early on symptoms will extend to the following:
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness
- Additional rashes on other areas of the body
- Arthritis pain
- Facial Palsy
- Intermittent pain in joints, tendons, muscles, and bones
- Dizzy episodes or shortness of breath
- Nerve Pain
- Inflammation of brain or spinal cord
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in hands or feet.
- Short term memory problems
With Lyme disease the earlier you discover the symptoms and are treated the greater your chance of recovery. The longer it is left untreated the greater your likelihood is of dealing with lifelong symptoms. So please seek treatment as soon as possible if you experience these symptoms after a tick bite!
While we can't treat the whole out doors, Flatline Pest Control can help you control the outdoors outside your home. We do have effective treatments for ticks, fleas and even mosquitoes that can reduce your risk of contracting diseases spread by these insects. Call us today!