Deer ticks are a well known species of tick in our area. They also are referred to as the blacklegged tick and are notorious for transmitting Lyme disease. While they are considered to be highly dangerous, it’s important to know what stage the deer ticks are in during a given time of year. What you may not know is that ticks go through cycles which correspond with the seasons. From April through August is when the most cases of of Lyme disease are transmitted to humans whilst during the nymph stage of the tick life cycle, according to the University of Rhode Island’s Tick Encounter site.
The next cycle of the blacklegged (deer) tick we will be faced with is the larvae phase. According to the Tick Encounter project, within New England right now the blacklegged “deer” tick larvae is at a medium level. Tick larvae are not considered to be as dangerous as nymphs and adult ticks. Seeing as how they have not received their first blood meal, they’re usually free of any diseases (as they contract diseases such as Lyme from the animal which they feed upon first). The only documented illness which may be found in deer tick larvae is known as Borrelia miyamotoi. B. miyamotoi, as it is called, causes symptoms in humans such as: fever, chills and headache. Other common symptoms may include fatigue and joint pain. It’s rather mild, especially in comparison to other diseases such as Lyme, and can be treated with a simple course of doxycycline, amoxicillin and ceftriaxone over 2 – 4 weeks.
Once the nymphs have fed they will slowly but surely enter adulthood, usually by late fall. Their dormant period usually lasts through late February, at which point they set out to lay their eggs (usually around mid April). Once hatched, they enter the larvae stage of their life cycle, which is exactly where we are now. Knowing when, statistically speaking, you’re most likely to be infected with Lyme disease is very important. It will help you to be more vigilant in protecting yourself from ticks. Remember, April through August are the peak times for becoming infected with Lyme by deer ticks. This in no way means you shouldn’t remain vigilant at all times when it comes to ticks!
While the deer tick is the most common tick in our area and the one most responsible for transmission of Lyme disease, other ticks in our area are capable of carrying other types of tick-borne illnesses. So, what to do? When hiking make certain you’re wearing long, light colored clothing so you can see the ticks themselves. Utilizing DEET containing products can also aid you in keeping ticks off you. Keeping ticks off you is something you should always do whenever you’re out hiking or traveling through areas with tall grass or shrubbery.
When it comes to your yard, tick control in Weymouth, MA and surrounding areas is something the professionals at Mosquito Squad of Boston Metro South can help with.We will target the specific areas of your yard where ticks harbor and breed, like brush and wood piles, tall grass and under decks. We are currently offering a Late Summer Tick Cycle Package that includes 6 weeks of Traditional Mosquito/Tick Barrier protection plus intensive tick control for $310.00 for up to 1/2 acre. (offer expires September 1, 2016)
In order to keep your yard tick-free all season long, call Mosquito Squad of Boston Metro South today at (781) 471-5793, or fill out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you soon!