Rock star Avril Lavigne’s public announcement involving her suffering from chronic Lyme Disease has brought awareness of the illness back to the forefront, and just in time. The warm weather has caused ticks to emerge from hibernation, and ticks, as we all know, are the main vector (carrier) of Lyme Disease. Did you realize that ticks hibernate, much like bears? This fact is one way the disease continues to spread: infected ticks don’t “freeze off” in the winter. Here are some other important, little known facts about Lyme Disease:
- The deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), or black-legged tick is the only tick east of the Rockies that carries Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that is Lyme Disease. On the West Coast it is the deer tick’s cousin (Ixodes pacificus) that is the vector.*
- Ticks can bite anywhere, but their favorite places to attach are the armpits… and groin.*
- Nymph ticks are the size of a poppy seed and are usually the culprit in most human cases of Lyme Disease. This is because the adult ticks are the easier to see and remove. Adult deer ticks are still quite small: they are roughly size of a sesame seed.*
- America’s moose population is being decimated: in part by ticks. One scientist counted 100,000 ticks on a single New Hampshire moose recently.
- You cannot get Lyme disease from kissing someone who has the infection. No, you can’t get it by being more intimate either.
- Your dog or cat can bring ticks into your home, but, again, you can not get Lyme Disease directly from your pet.*
- You should not donate blood if you have or are being treated for Lyme Disease.*
- If you are pregnant, and get Lyme Disease, it is important to seek medical attention. Left untreated, serious harm could result.*
- “Questing” is the term used to describe a waiting tick. They hang on to a branch or blade of grass with their hind legs and wait to grab on with their front legs. The goal is to move quickly and find a place to bite/feed once securely on a host.
- Black-legged ticks are slow feeders. They take 3-5 days to complete a blood meal. Removing a tick within 24 hours greatly reduces your risk of contracting Lyme Disease.
For tick control North Shore, now is the time to take proactive measures with your yard this tick season. At Mosquito Squad of the North Shore, we offer EPA-registered seasonal barrier sprays that treat your entire yard, not just your home’s perimeter. Our barrier spray kills adult ticks on contact, and when you add-on our strategic Tick Tube Program, this will eliminate 85% – 90% of ticks, greatly reducing your family’s chances of contracting a tick-borne illness like Lyme Disease.