According to the Center for Disease Control, lyme disease is on the rise.  It has been steadily rising for the last 25 years.  In the United States alone, over 300,000 new cases of lyme disease happen every year.  It is the most common insect spread disease and the sixth most common infectious disease.  So with these scary statistics, what can we do about it?  Education is key.  So, what ticks carry lyme disease?  The Lyme Disease bacterium is spread by the bite of the black legged, or deer tick.  The deer tick is found across the U.S.  

Lyme disease is is caused by a bacteria spread by the black legged tick.  This tick feeds off of the blood of its host and transmits the bacteria during the process.  The CDC is currently testing pesticide injected clothing and oral vaccines for rats.  These measures, if feasible, could drastically drop the occurrence of lyme disease.  The cost of testing alone is $492 million.  

THE DEER TICK

The black legged tick, or deer tick, is what tick carries lyme disease and is found in two forms in the United States.  The Ixodes scapularis is found in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central parts of the United States.  The Ixodes pacificus or western black legged tick is found on the Pacific coast.  The tick has eight legs and is black in color, with the exception of the female which has a brown band across the back of it.  When the tick is engorged, or full of blood, it has a grayish blue color to it.  It is much larger after feeding.  

The deer tick will find a hard to find spot such as the armpit, groin or back of the legs.  There it will pierce the skin and bury its head in order to siphon blood.  It will inject a small amount of saliva in order to stop the blood from clotting and numb the area so it is not detected.  It will feed for five to seven days, and then fall off.  At this point, it will lay eggs.  This is why it is important to contact a Tulsa exterminator to eliminate these pests.  

LYME DISEASE AND ITS SYMPTOMS

A tick must feed on a human for 36 to 48 hours for transmission of lyme disease.  Often, these insects will feed in nymph form.  When the egg hatches, a nymph, or smaller version of the adult, emerges.  These nymphs can be very tiny.  This is often why tick bites can go unnoticed.  Nymphs still can carry the disease and transmit it to humans.  

When lyme disease is transmitted, the result is a rash.  You can find pictures of these rashes here.  This rash can be in a few forms, but the most often seen is the bullseye rash.  This rash has a red spot where the bite occurred, and then a red ring around it.  Sometimes, there will just be a red ring that will get larger in diameter as time goes on.  Sometimes it will be a circle without a clearing.  If you see any of these, or suspect that you are infected with lyme disease, contact your medical professional immediately.  

OTHER DISEASES CAUSED BY TICKS

There are many diseases that ticks can transmit.  Anaplasmosis is a bacterial disease transmitted by deer ticks that can cause fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches.  Babesiosis is a microscopic parasite that attacks red blood cells.  Colorado Tick Fever is spread by the Rocky Mountain wood tick in the western parts of the United States and Canada.  Ehrlichiosisis transmitted by the lone star tick in the southern central parts of the United States.  It is a bacteria that can cause fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and sometimes upset stomach.

Heartland virus disease is also transmitted by ticks.  It has many of the same symptoms that Ehrlichiosisis has.  There are no known treatments or vaccines for this disease yet.  Most people who get the disease, do have to stay in a hospital, but deaths are rare.  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is known as one of the most deadliest tick borne diseases in the United States.  It is transmitted by the American dog tick.  If it is not treated with the correct antibiotic in a timely manner, it can be fatal.  Your Oklahoma exterminator can help prevent these diseases.  

HOW TICKS ATTACH

The deer tick is known as a three host insect.  It hatches from its egg as a six legged larva.  At this stage, it will attach itself to smaller animals such as rodents or birds and feed.  After three to five days, the engorged larva will drop from its host and overwinter where ever it lands.  In late spring, the larva will molt into a small nymph and feed again.  After three to five days, it will fall off and molt into its adult stages.  The adult will become active in the fall and continue through the winter.  They will feed on warmer days, finding a suitable host walking by.  The females will feed for up to seven days, and then lay eggs.  The adult males seldom feed.  

Ticks will wait in the high grass until a potential host comes by.  When they go through the brush, ticks will grab on to them and crawl to an unsuspecting spot.  It’s here where they bury their heads into the soft skin on the back of the leg or armpit.  They will hang there until they are finished feeding.  It is important that when you find a feeding tick, that you remove it properly.  Using tweezers, grab the tick as close to the skin as possible.  Pull upward with an even and steady pressure.  Don’t twist or jerk.  This could cause the head of the tick to break off inside the skin and cause an infection.  

ELIMINATING TICKS

The fight against ticks is never ending.  The best method of keeping them off of you is to wear long pants and sleeves when in the woods.  Your Oklahoma pest control company can also help.  Here at TermMax Pest Control, we are the best Tulsa pest control company in town.  We can give you a free estimate and solve your problem quickly and easily.  Contact us today.  We are here to help!

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