St. Louis Area Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases Surge in Missouri and Illinois

Author: Mosquito Squad of West St. Louis County, MO

The news is heavy with ticks lately. Headlines like, “Experts warn of surge in tick population” “Tick-Spread Disease On The Rise in Missouri and Illinois…” “Summer is here and so are ticks!” are dominating the local news, radio, and Internet. We are not on the side of fearmongering; however, we are on the side of taking proper precautions to avoid ticks and tick bites. Make sure you know all the important tick safety tips, what tick diseases look like, and how to avoid tick bites.

What is New About Ticks in St. Louis?

Ticks have always been in the St. Louis area. The difference is that tick season is getting longer, and the ticks are becoming more plentiful. The two most common ticks in the area are the Lone Star Tick and the Dog Tick. Neither spread Lyme disease. However, they can spread Rocky Mountain Spotted fever and Bourbon Virus, which can both be deadly. Deer ticks spread Lyme, but are not as plentiful here.

What Can I Do to Avoid Tick Bites?

Avoiding tick bites is still the best method of reducing your risk for tick-borne diseases. Follow the Cs of tick control for some DIY tips for your yard. Wear long sleeves and pants tucked into your socks when hiking in untreated areas. Treat your clothes with permethrin before hiking and use an insect repellent containing DEET on exposed skin. And at home, hire a tick control company to reduce ticks on your property.

Always conduct a thorough tick check as soon as you come in from spending time outdoors in areas where ticks may thrive. If you can find ticks on your clothes or body before they bite, that is ideal.

HOT TIP: A lint roller is an excellent method for removing ticks from clothing.

What if a Tick Does Bite Me?

If you find a tick embedded in yourself, your child, or a pet, make sure you safely remove the tick right away. Some tick diseases can’t be transmitted until the tick has been embedded for hours. If you remove the tick fast, you can reduce the likelihood of illness.

Learn all the details about tick safety for before, during, and after your outdoor adventures.

What Are the Symptoms of Tick-Spread Diseases?

While the most well-known tick illness, Lyme disease, is not common in the St. Louis area, there are several other dangerous and possibly deadly tick-borne diseases. Rocky Mountain Spotted fever is most common, but Ehrlichiosis, Heartland, and Bourbon viruses are all possible too. Check out the list of St. Louis Tick-Borne Disease symptoms, so you know what symptoms to recognize.

At Mosquito Squad of West St. Louis County and St. Louis Metro East, we are eager to help you avoid tick bites. Our original barrier treatment knocks down adult ticks on contact, while our tick tube system can reduce ticks long-term on your property. Call today for a free quote for our St. Louis tick control services.