Early Warm Weather, Early Tick Bites

Author: Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham

On March 12th telegraph.com posted a story by Mark Blazis about his 2-year-old grandson’s tick bite experience. Let the sink in… March 12th. February had quite the warm snap and when the weather becomes extremely warm the lakes and ponds melt and nature begins to believe that it is spring. Ticks are part of nature. This leads to Mark’s story of Cameron and the tick bite. Because Blazis is a seasoned researcher of Lyme disease, he knew in an instant that the tick removed from his grandson was a deer tick, a possible carrier of the disease. He also knew that by the high level of engorgement, the tick had probably been attached for quite some time.

IS CLIMATE CHANGE FUELING THE TICK FIRE?

There is a lesson in extreme weather here. It seems we can go from too warm to too cold and back again more and more with each year. Climate change creates extreme effects, consider 3 nor’easters in less than a month. It also creates much longer seasons for the pests that carry disease. No more can we decide when to protect ourselves from ticks and the illnesses they carry based on the calendar. The pests themselves will decide when it’s warm enough to surface and we will have to continue to heighten our awareness when spending time outdoors.

THE IMPORTANCE OF TICK CONTROL

There is a second lesson here as well. Treatment. Because the tick found on Cameron was on him for so long, his family feared the worst when it came to the possibility of disease. As an adult Blazis states that if the tick were on him, he would have immediately taken 2 doses of the antibiotic doxycycline, but Cameron is only 2. Most doctors would suggest waiting on symptoms for a child this small and then possibly a milder antibiotic such as amoxicillin. Dr. Sam R. Telford of the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton thinks the wait is a bad idea. Amoxicillin is not useful in some of the other diseases that deer ticks can carry such as Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis. It’s long been a known fact that quicker treatment is better when it comes to fighting tick-borne illness. Surprisingly but thankfully, Cameron did not contract anything from this tick experience.  

However, giving your child medication he or she possibly doesn’t need may be a large concern to you and at Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham, we understand that. That’s why we think TickReport.com is a great resource. If you find a tick and send it in to be tested you can have results in just 3 days as to any pathogens it might carry. That can quickly eliminate taking medications for illnesses you don’t have. We also highly suggest taking protective measures when it comes to ticks with tick safety. When you take trips into outdoor environments that are likely to be a tick habitat, wear long sleeves, long pants, light colors so ticks can be detected. Always do full body checks once you arrive home and consider putting your clothes in the dryer on high.

At home, you have the option of ridding your outdoor spaces of these tiny pests. Our barrier sprays will eliminate 85-90% of ticks in your yard. By adding the tube system we begin working on keeping next year’s fleet from ever even making it into the grass. Protection all season long not only makes testing unnecessary it makes climate change a non-factor when it comes to tick control. Call us today for information about our services. We look forward to hearing from you.