How to Prevent Lyme Disease

Ticks are an unavoidable nuisance in the United States. They live in nearly every state, and bites happen throughout the year when the temperature is above freezing. Unfortunately, tick bites can cause Lyme disease. This potentially debilitating illness is often difficult to diagnose and sometimes even more challenging to treat.

But there are ways to keep you and your family protected from bites. If you want to know how to prevent Lyme disease, keep reading.

First, What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by the black-legged tick. It causes a range of symptoms, but most patients report feeling extreme fatigue and bad headaches. Fever and rashes are also common. In some instances, the patient may develop more chronic conditions of the heart, bones, or nervous system. Antibiotics can treat and cure Lyme disease, but it may take several courses and must be started soon after the disease is contracted. Some people will continue to experience symptoms long-term.

How do you get Lyme disease? Black-legged ticks, sometimes called deer ticks, infect a host after a prolonged bite. The bacteria transmits from the tick’s mouth into the victim’s bloodstream. While black-legged ticks can carry the bacteria, not all of them do. And a short bite (where the tick is detected and removed only a few hours after being attached) is not likely to cause an infection. The risk of catching Lyme disease is highest if the tick remains attached to its host for over 36 hours.

Tips for How to Avoid Lyme Disease

Even though it’s impossible to eradicate all ticks in the world, you can follow these tick tips and tricks to avoid catching Lyme disease.

Here are the easiest ways to prevent bites when you head outdoors:

  • Dress for the Occasion

Ticks only bite bare skin—they can’t reach you through layers of clothing. When heading outdoors, cover up as much skin as possible. Even in the middle of the summer, it’s best to wear long sleeves and full hiking pants. Tuck in your shirt and pull your socks over your pant legs to close any gaps. Hiking boots are better than sneakers, and you should always avoid sandals.

Many experts recommend wearing light-colored clothing. The idea is that if a tick does crawl on you, it’s easier to see it against a brighter background. However, ticks dislike dark colors and are more attracted to light hues.

  • Spray from Head to Toe

Over-the-counter insect repellents are a great way to keep ticks away. Ticks don’t like products that contain DEET or Picaridin. However, you shouldn’t spray DEET on children. Instead, you can try a natural repellent such as sprays that include citronella or peppermint essential oils. Apply a generous coating on all exposed skin and clothing. Reapply as needed.

  • Don’t Venture into the Woods

Deer ticks love hiding in wooded environments, and their orange-brown bodies provide them with the perfect camouflage. Avoid sitting on fallen branches, woodpiles, or even the ground. Ticks don’t like sunlight, so staying on the trail is better than heading into the dark, cold woods.

  • Perform a Thorough “Tick Check”

When returning indoors, check your clothing and body for ticks. If possible, have someone else lend a hand, and inspect all children for ticks. Ticks like to hide, and since they’re so small—especially early in the season before they grow to full size, you may miss them. You will definitely feel an adult-sized tick if you come across it with your fingers.

Be sure to inspect these common hiding spots:

  • Your hairline and scalp
  • Between fingers and toes
  • Behind your ears
  • In your armpits
  • Near the groin

Remove your clothes as soon as possible after returning home and toss them into the washer. Hot water will eliminate any ticks in your clothes that may not have had a chance to attach themselves to your skin. And if you do find a tick, carefully remove it with tweezers.

Worried About Ticks in Your Backyard?

There may be ticks living in your lawn, but you don’t want to find out the hard way. Lyme disease prevention always begins at home. Another great way to avoid Lyme disease is to have Mosquito Joe set up a spray-treatment barrier in your yard. This treatment works on fleas and mosquitoes, too!

Ready to say goodbye to ticks? Connect with us online or call 1-855-275-2563 to schedule a barrier treatment.

Is your yard an overgrown haven for tick-carrying animals? Get in touch with the trusted landscaping professionals at The Grounds Guys, a fellow Neighborly® company.


Do All Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

While insect bites are bad enough to deal with already, a single bite from a deer tick (also known as blacklegged ticks) can transmit Lyme disease. Any single of these blood-sucking insects can potentially carry and transmit the bacterium that causes this horrible illness. But do all ticks carry Lyme? No. Do all blacklegged/deer ticks carry Lyme? No.

Continue reading to find out when you should worry about a tick bite and when you can relax.

Do All Tick Bites Carry Lyme Disease?

Before you vow never to venture outdoors again, you need to know which ticks carry Lyme disease. Even though there are hundreds of tick species, only the blacklegged variety (deer tick) transmits the disease. These insects are always searching for a host. And both humans and animals—especially white-tailed deer and chipmunks—make for a tasty meal.

Blacklegged ticks have flat, ovular bodies. They are orange-brown in color and only reach about 1/8” in length. Their color and size, however, change throughout different points of the tick life cycle.

Understanding the Basics of Lyme Disease

A dangerous bacterium scientifically dubbed Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease in humans. You can only get this disease from ticks, and luckily, there’s no evidence that Lyme disease is contagious between humans.

This illness causes a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Infected persons often experience fever, aches, fatigue, and headaches. Problems with the heart, joints, and nervous systems are also common. In very rare cases, an infected person may die. Treatment is a 10-to-21-day course of antibiotics that is most effective when taken as soon as possible. But even after taking antibiotics, some patients continue to experience lifelong symptoms.

A bullseye-shaped rash may appear around the bite site after someone has been infected with Lyme disease. If you see this telltale sign, visit a doctor as soon as possible.

Where Do Lyme-Carrying Ticks Live?

Blacklegged ticks can be found throughout the eastern United States, but Lyme diseases is most prevalent in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia, New Hampshire, Delaware and Maine.

Ticks like to live in wooded areas, grassy environments, and, unfortunately, your yard. These insects thrive throughout the United States. The ticks that carry Lyme disease are the most active from April through September. However, a tick can bite you any time of the year, and even a deep freeze won’t eliminate them.

Risk of Contracting Lyme After a Bite

So, do all deer ticks carry Lyme disease? No, just because a tick can carry the disease doesn’t mean it does. A bite from a deer tick doesn’t always turn into a case of Lyme, but if you pull one off your body, it’s best to monitor the site for any reaction and yourself for Lyme symptoms. Symptoms can appear a few days or even several weeks after a bite. Early antibiotic treatment is vital for a fast recovery from Lyme disease, so see a doctor at the first indication of Lyme.

Here are risk factors for Lyme disease:

  • Having a tick attached to your skin for more than 36 hours
  • Exposing a lot of skin while outdoors
  • Working an outdoor job
  • Living in a heavily wooded area

While not all species carry Lyme, many other varieties do sometimes carry other diseases. After removing any tick from your body, make sure to be on the lookout for any signs of sickness. Again, not every tick will transmit disease, but any tick bite has the potential.

Preventing Tick Bites and Lyme Disease

The best way to prevent tick bites is to avoid their habitat. When you do wander outdoors, cover as much skin as possible. You should also keep your lawn manicured and remove any excess brush and fallen tree limbs.

Mosquito Joe can also put your mind at ease. Our barrier control service will prevent all types of ticks from ruining your picnic. Ticks don’t stand a chance against our team! Get in touch with us online or call 1-855-275-2563 to schedule your tick control treatment.

Is your overgrown backyard looking like a haven for ticks? The Grounds Guys, another brand in the Neighborly® family, can provide the professional landscaping and lawn care services you need.


How to Properly Remove A Tick

What Is the Proper Way to Remove a Tick?

Everyone and their Great Aunt Edith seem to have friendly advice on how to remove a tick. The trick is knowing how to sort the myths from the facts—getting tick removal wrong could be dangerous. Burning a tick with a match and painting over it with nail polish are not safe ways to remove ticks (no matter what Aunt Edith says). Methods such as these can result in an increased risk of diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Why It’s Important to Use Safe Methods for Tick Removal

Removing a tick is unlike removing any other type of insect from the body. While you can simply brush away most bugs, a tick attaches to the body, bites the skin, and begins drawing blood. Ticks differ from most biting bugs in that they tend to burrow into the skin and remain attached to the body even after biting.  Because many ticks carry diseases, they can pass these diseases to the human host while attached.

Certain unsafe removal methods can cause the tick to salivate and regurgitate into the bite site, which may increase the risk of disease transmission.

Improper removal techniques include:

  • Applying heat to the tick body with a hot nail or match
  • Covering the tick with petroleum jelly, alcohol, nail polish, or gasoline
  • Killing the tick while it’s still attached to the skin
  • Crushing, squeezing, twisting, or puncturing the tick
  • Handling the tick body with bare hands

How to Properly Remove a Tick

While you may be eager to remove a tick from your body or your child’s body as quickly as possible, it’s important to have the right supplies on hand first. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pointy tweezers – Choose tweezers with a pointed tip, not square. Your typical eyebrow tweezers likely aren’t pointy enough and might tear the tick’s body.
  • Rubbing alcohol or soap and water – You will use this to clean the site thoroughly.

Once you have these items ready to go, take these five steps to remove a tick correctly to minimize the risk of infection:

  1. Clean the area surrounding the tick bite with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  2. Take your pointed tweezers and place the point down into the skin so you can grab as closely as possible to the tick’s head.
  3. Use slow, firm motion, and steady pressure to pull the tick straight up and out of the skin; avoid jerking or twisting. If the tick breaks, make sure to go back to the bite site to remove the remaining head. If you are unable to remove the head, seek medical attention.
  4. Once removed, avoid handling the tick with bare hands. Use the tweezers to place the tick’s body into a container with a blade of grass if you wish to keep it alive and send away for testing. Or safely dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet.
  5. Use the rubbing alcohol or soap and water to clean the bite area once again.

Tick Bite Symptoms: What You Need to Know

After removing the tick, it’s important to inspect the surrounding area thoroughly for signs of infection. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice a bull’s-eye rash, characterized by a raised spot with a clear center at the bite location.

Continue to keep an eye on the bite site in the following days and contact your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of these potential signs of Lyme disease:

  • Body aches, muscle pain or a stiff neck
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Fainting spells
  • Headache
  • Light-headedness

If you saved the tick in a container, bring it along with you to the doctor’s appointment because it can help to diagnose disease.

Check for Ticks Regularly

The risk of Lyme disease transmission increases significantly after 24 hours of attachment, so it is a good idea to check yourself and any family members for ticks regularly. Checking at least daily for ticks is an ideal practice. However, if you, family members, or a pet are outside often, it’s wise to check each time you come indoors. Look under arms, behind ears and knees, under hair and on the scalp, inside the belly button, around the waist, and between legs.

Treat Your Yard for Ticks and Other Pests

You can never be too cautious when it comes to tick bites and preventing tick-borne illnesses. If you want to add an extra layer of protection to your outdoor fun, reach out to your local Mosquito Joe for barrier treatments designed to eliminate ticks. Call us at 1-855-275-2563 or contact us online to schedule professional tick control services.

Ticks gross a lot of people out. Check out these recommendations for cleaning gross things more painlessly from our friends at Molly Maid. Molly Maid is another member of the Neighborly® family of home service brands.


Tick Prevention Tips to Keep Your Family Safe

A walk in the woods can be a pleasant reprieve but can also invite some unwanted hitchhikers. Ticks can latch onto exposed skin, move from clothing onto the skin, and even tag a ride on your four-legged friends. Ticks can also be transmitters of illnesses such as Lyme disease.

Don’t let these pests prevent you and your family from enjoying the outdoors!

Taking the necessary measures is important for those living in areas with significant tick populations and the presence of tick-borne diseases. Learn how to prevent ticks and reclaim your outdoor exploration with these tick prevention tips from Mosquito Joe.

How to Prevent Tick Bites

Don’t let ticks put a damper on your outdoor plans! By following proper precautions to prevent and repel ticks you can enjoy your favorite outside activities tick- and care-free.

Here are our best tips for how to prevent tick bites:
Use Tick Repellent

  • Employing an insect repellent is a great preventative step toward both ticks and mosquitoes. Apply a trusted repellent topically and on clothing to prevent mosquito bites and keep ticks off your body. Be sure the repellent you’re using is effective on ticks, as many repellents are mosquito specific.

Go Lightly

  • Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to form a paste. Apply to the bite and then wash off the mixture after 10 minutes.

Cool it Down

  • Wearing pants and long-sleeve shirts reduces the amount of exposed skin. This provides less area for a tick to latch onto, and decreases your chances of bringing one home. Opting for light-colored clothing helps you more easily spot any tick stowaways before heading back inside.

Tuck It

  • Tucking pant legs into socks creates a seamless length of protection down to your feet to prevent exposed ankles or from having ticks climb up open pant legs. Plus, it’s the most stylish look around for enjoying the outdoors in areas with ticks!

Down the Middle

  • When you’re out for a hike, consider walking down the middle of the hiking trail rather than the edges. This practice lowers your exposure to tall grasses, where ticks are often lurking and waiting for the perfect host to pass by. Challenge your kids to a fun game of staying away from the edges of the trail as a way to encourage this behavior from them too!

Pat Down

  • Upon completing your outdoor excursion, check yourself, your family, and your pets for ticks. For humans, start from the head down, checking hair, ears, underarms, waist, thighs, and inner knee. For furry friends, start at the snout, check ears, around collars, under legs, and under their tail.

Go Pro

  • If you’re looking to take a more proactive step to keep ticks at bay while in your own yard, Mosquito Joe can help. For tick prevention close to home, developing a management plan, or having your yard professionally treated is the way to go.


Take back your yard and let the whole family spend time outside without worry. Get in touch with the professionals at Mosquito Joe today to learn more about your options. Give us a call at 1-855-275-2563 or request a quote online.


Where Are Lone Star Ticks Found and Will I Get a Meat Allergy?

Understanding the Threat of Lone Star Tick Disease

Spring and summer typically bring more time spent enjoying the great outdoors but also increased concerns about potentially dangerous ticks. Lone star ticks, in particular, have become an intriguing species due to their ability to transmit ehrlichiosis—an illness that can create an allergy to red meat.

It almost sounds like a disease from a sci-fi movie, but this threat is not a figment of the imagination. Should you be concerned?

The experts at Mosquito Joe are here to answer your questions about lone star tick disease, including where these ticks are found and what is up with that dreadful meat allergy.

Where Are Lone Star Ticks Found?

Until recently, people outside of the southern parts of the United States didn’t have to worry about lone star tick disease. However, as the tick species has been spreading north, you now need to watch out for them in the entire eastern half of the United States—from Texas to Iowa and all the way east to the east coast. While the lone star ticks have shown up in areas as far north as Maine, they are still more common in southern states.

You will be able to identify a lone star tick by its silver-white dot—or “lone star”—located on the dorsal shield of females. Adult lone star ticks have a round, reddish-brown body and long, thin mouthparts.

Lone Star Tick Disease: Ehrlichiosis

Lone star ticks transmit bacteria that may lead to several different types of illnesses but the most well known and common is ehrlichiosis. This bacterial illness causes flu-like symptoms ranging from mild body aches and fatigue to high fever and vomiting. Perhaps the most notorious symptom is when the bitten individual develops an allergy to red meat (beef and pork).

While the meat allergy does not happen to every person who is bitten by a lone star tick, it is common enough to be cause for concern.

How does this bizarre allergic reaction develop? When the lone star tick bites a human after feeding on other mammals, the victim can experience an immune system response to the tick’s saliva molecules. Doctors say it can take anywhere from two weeks to three months after a lone star tick bite to experience this bizarre allergic reaction.

How Likely Are You to Contract Ehrlichiosis?

As the lone star tick species continues to expand its geographic footprint, many people living in the eastern half of the U.S. want to know what the risk is for contracting ehrlichiosis or developing the lone star tick meat allergy. Research reveals that a lone star tick is less likely to carry ehrlichiosis than a deer tick (also known as a blacklegged tick) is to carry Lyme disease. So not everyone who is bitten by a lone star tick will develop the red meat allergy.

The risk may not be high enough to warrant alarm. Still, it’s important to note that the lone star tick is the most aggressive tick species. It’s possible to experience multiple bites if you find yourself in their habitat.

Protect Yourself and Your Family with Tick Control Services

Checking for ticks regularly and being aware of the risk of tick-borne illnesses is important, but there’s more you can do to minimize exposure to the lone star tick disease

Let the team of experts at your local Mosquito Joe help you to combat any tick species in your area with our reliable tick control services.

We are dedicated to using the best prevention and barrier methods to serve as a strong line of defense against tick-borne illnesses. Call us at 1-855-275-2563 or contact us online to schedule professional tick control services.

Whether you’re cooking red meat or veggies, cleaning and maintaining your grill is important. Learn more about grill cleaning and maintenance from Mr. Appliance®, another member of the Neighborly® family of trusted home service brands.