Simply enjoying the great outdoors in Cape Ann and now you have a stowaway. So what do you do? The most important first step is making sure you safely remove the tick. Yes, it’s gross, but improper removal makes you more susceptible to becoming infected by a tick-borne illness such as Lyme disease. The importance of slowly and patiently following the steps to remove the entire tick from your pet or family member’s skin just can’t be emphasized enough.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH A SAFELY REMOVED TICK?
Tick disposal…how do you get rid of it? Or maybe the real question is should you get rid of it? Illnesses such as Lyme disease can be hard to diagnose and often it can take days to weeks for you to become symptomatic. Tick testing is another option and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst has a great program in place.
MASSACHUSETTS TICK TESTING
UMass has been testing ticks since 2006. If you remove a tick from you or your pet you can simply put it in a secure plastic bag, go online and fill out a form, and send the tick to Dr. Stephen Rich in the microbiology lab at UMass. They test the ticks for 5 different pathogens. “The beauty of this is it’s beneficial to individuals, so someone gets bit by a tick, they send to us, they get info about what they may have been exposed to,” states Dr. Rich in his interview with Western Mass News. These tests also help give more knowledge about the ticks people are finding which can lead to answers in fighting tick-borne illness.
TICK TESTING FOR EASIER DIAGNOSIS IF YOU BECOME ILL
Tick testing is a simple way to diagnose tick-borne illness and get yourself on the road to recovery BEFORE you actually become sick with symptoms. At the very least we suggest that you save the ticks that you remove, to become tested if you do become ill. The testing isn’t free, but some towns in Massachusetts are beginning to subsidize part of the cost. Considering that tick bites can lead to chronic Lyme, a debilitating disease, the low cost of testing ($50) is much less than dealing with the long-term effects of a chronic illness.
When enjoying the outdoors in your own backyard, let Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham keep you safe from ticks with a combination of our tick mist and tick tubes for the best Cape Ann tick control available. We can eliminate 85-90% of ticks for a carefree outdoor lifestyle. Call us today!