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.