Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans and other animals by ticks. In Greenville and Spartanburg the Ixodes scapularis aka black-legged tick aka deer tick is the culprit. The deer tick is found throughout wooded areas in the Carolinas. Ticks are tiny and, therefore, hard to avoid and hard to know when they’ve attached themselves to you. The nymph (teenage) ticks can spread Lyme unseen as they are often no bigger than a poppy seed. If you have spent time outdoors where ticks are commonly found it is important to check yourself and your pets for them when you go inside.
One of the first signs of Lyme Disease is a red expanding rash at the bite site called an erythema migrans or bulls-eye rash, usually within 3-30 days after being bitten. 20-30% of Lyme Disease cases never get the bulls-eye rash. The onset of other symptoms may begin to occur at this time and may include fever, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint aches and swollen lymph nodes.
If left untreated, the CDC says Lyme Disease can spread from the bite site to other areas of the body causing a variety of symptoms that come and go. These chronic Lyme Disease symptoms can include severe headache, neck stiffness, bulls-eye rash on other areas of the body, joint pain in the large joints, Bell’s palsy, heart palpitations known as “Lyme Carditis”, dizziness, shortness of breath, inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, nerve pain, shooting pain, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, or short-term memory problems. Lyme carditis can be fatal. If you think you are suffering from chronic Lyme you should see your doctor immediately to help manage the symptoms
Lyme Disease is treated with antibiotics. If discovered in the early phases and treated properly patients usually recovered rapidly and completely. Patients with certain cardiac or neurological forms of Lyme may need intravenous treatment. In a small number of cases, symptoms of Lyme can last for 6 months or more. Commonly referred to as chronic Lyme the medical community calls it “Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome” (PTLDS). Symptoms are similar to those who suffer from untreated Lyme disease, but with further treatment, most patients recover.
The ticks responsible for spreading Lyme Disease, the black-legged or deer tick, are spreading into areas they previously did not have much of a presence. This is leading to more cases of Lyme Disease in areas where Lyme Disease was not prevalent. There are two species that carry Lyme, the black-legged tick, and the Western black-legged tick, both are spreading rapidly. 44% more counties are home to these ticks than in 1996. Making tick control and Lyme Disease prevention in Greenville more important than ever.
Image Credit: Alex Hogan – Stat News
Our beloved pets are very susceptible to tick bites. Our pets can also bring infected ticks into the home. Dogs are especially susceptible to tick-borne disease, making it important to protect our furry friends too. Signs of tick-borne disease in your dog can include changes in behavior or appetite. To protect your pets be sure to follow the 6 C’s of tick proofing your yard and trust Mosquito Squad of Greenville to eliminate most of the ticks in your yard. If you spend time in tick habitats away from home with your pet, talk to your veterinarian about tick preventatives.
Preventing tick bites is the best defense against Lyme Disease. Decreasing your exposure to ticks is the best way to avoid tick bites. With our tick tube treatment and traditional barrier spray, we can eliminate 80-90% of the ticks in your yard, the place you spend most of your outdoor time. Call today to sign up for season long tick protection. 864-277-4299