Do all ticks in Tennessee carry diseases?
Did you know that we have as many as 15 species of ticks in Tennessee?
That’s a lot of ticks! Even still, there are four prominent types of ticks in Tennessee.
- The black-legged tick, commonly known as the deer tick
- The Lone Star tick
- The American dog tick
- The brown dog tick
All these ticks in Tennessee have the potential to spread diseases, but that doesn’t mean that every tick bite will result in a tick-borne illness for you, your family member, or your pet. That does not negate the fact that we should try to avoid ticks as much as possible. Personal tick protection away from home and professional tick control at home.
Tiny deer ticks are in a life stage that makes them big-time disease carriers. This is because before they become tiny nymph ticks, they often feed on the blood of Lyme-bacteria-infected mice. Then, they often seek (and find) a human or pet to obtain their blood meal. During this bite process, which must take place for at least 24 hours, tiny nymph ticks can often pass Lyme disease. In addition to Lyme disease the blacklegged tick has the potential to pass the potentially fatal illness, known as Powassan disease. We must remember that tiny nymph ticks can also infect our pets with Lyme disease.
American dog ticks and brown dog ticks carry diseases too.
The brown dog tick feeds more often on small mammals, like our beloved dogs, and they can pass diseases, such as canine babesiosis and canine ehrlichiosis. American dog ticks can pass tularemia, tick paralysis, and more often pass Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to humans and pets.
Ticks with white dots can pass disease also.
The Lone Star tick boasts its share of dreaded illness potential, as well. These hard-bodied ticks can pass southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), Heartland virus, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, and Bourbon virus. Lonestar ticks can also cause a lifetime of aggravation for carnivorous humans, by transmitting a disease known as alpha-gal syndrome. This illness causes an allergic-type reaction when an infected person eats beef, lamb, pork, venison, and others!
Tick bites - any tick bite can also become infected.
We would be remiss not to note that no matter the type of tick that buries its head beneath your skin, or that of a loved one or pet, improper removal can result in a skin infection. This is most often caused when the tick’s body is removed, but the head is not completely gotten from beneath the skin. Redness,
*Please seek immediate medical attention if you believe you have been bitten by a disease-infected tick of any type.