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What You Need To Know About Ticks

dog with tick

This may come as a shock, but we have ticks in Lake Worth. We know, it seems strange that a bug that requires a lot of moisture and humidity would live in Lake Worth but, sadly, it does. Obviously, we're joking. It makes complete sense for moisture pests such as ticks to live and thrive in South Florida. But our joking isn't without its purpose. Many people don't take ticks seriously. If you're one of them, here are some tick facts you should be aware of.

Some of the worst human pathogens are transmitted by ticks. Deer ticks spread Lyme disease which can cause lifelong health problems that are quite serious. Have you heard of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, food poisoning, and depression? Lyme disease shares symptoms with all of these. That is why some experts call it "The great imitator." This is definitely a disease to avoid. And it doesn't just affect humans. Dogs can get Lyme disease too.

Lone Star ticks have been growing in notoriety for their ability to cause a rare meat allergy. This is referred to as the alpha-gal allergy by scientists and health agencies. Its symptoms include a runny nose, nausea, sneezing, headache, vomiting, rash, hives, shortness of breath, and worse. For those who are sensitive, it can lead to anaphylactic shock.

The list of diseases that can be spread by ticks is a long one including ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, STAR, Tick-borne relapsing fever, tularemia, and more.

Will every tick that bites you make you sick? No. But why take the chance?

Tick-borne diseases are a growing threat in the United States. There was a time when we could shrug ticks off. But that is definitely not the case anymore. Every resident in Lake Worth should take precautions to prevent tick bites, and reduce ticks in the yard, especially in spring and summer when ticks are most active.

Personal Protection

There are many things you can do to personally protect yourself when you go outside. Ticks may be small, but they're not very sneaky.

  • Ticks aren't going to jump on you or fall on you from a tree. They will cling to your legs and climb up. For this reason, wearing bright clothing can help with tick detection.
  • It might look silly, but tucking your pant legs into your socks can keep ticks from quickly getting to you skin.
  • Mosquito repellent works to resist ticks. Spray some on your legs to keep those ticks off.
  • Avoiding areas of tall grass and hanging vegetation can prevent questing ticks from getting onto you.
  • It takes time for tick-borne diseases to transfer from the attached tick. Finding ticks early can prevent disease. Always do a check when you come in after being in grassy or wooded areas.

Pet Protection

  • People who have pets are more likely to be bitten by ticks. Everything you do to protect your pets also works to keep you and your family safe.
  • Veterinarian-prescribed tick products are your frontline defense against ticks, especially collars. While ticks can get in between the toes of an animal and attach, they prefer to attach inside the ears so they don't get scratched off. When they make their way to the ears, the flea collar gives them a dose of active ingredient.
  • If you let your dogs play in the yard, consider fencing them in. It will keep wildlife from bringing ticks into their play area, and prevent dogs from exploring your landscaping, where questing ticks hide.

Yard Protection

  • Fewer ticks in your yard means less chance of being bitten. There are several ways you can reduce tick populations.
  • Since ticks are moisture pests, reducing moisture and standing water is a good first step. Repair any exterior plumbing leaks. Loosen compacted dirt. Trim trees and bushes to allow sunlight to dry rainwater quickly in areas that are too shaded. Repair broken gutters and downspouts.
  • Ticks prefer to come into a yard on an animal but they can crawl in. If you have wooded areas on the edges of your property, consider putting crushed rock or wood chips down as a barrier. This irritates the feet of ticks and will keep them out of your yard.
  • Ticks can take birds as hosts. If you have bird feeders near your home, consider moving them a safe distance away, and out of pet play areas.
  • Invest in routine tick reduction service from a professional.

For tick service in Lake Worth and South Florida, start here by requesting a free inspection. Ticks are a threat that everyone in South Florida should take seriously.

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