We’ve reached the season for enjoying the great outdoors (without bundling up that is) so it is time for cookouts, planning that camping trip you’ve been waiting to take, or just hanging out in the backyard. What’s that old saying? April showers bring May flowers. Here in Virginia Beach that is definitely true. We had our fair share of rain so we are enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. But, May is also Lyme Disease Awareness month, and since all those fun activities I just mentioned might put you in areas where ticks live, it is the perfect time to remind you how serious Lyme disease can be. It may not be as exciting to talk about as your weekend plans, but it is something you should be aware of, especially if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector borne illness (or disease transmitted to humans by ticks, mosquitoes or fleas) in the United States, with 22,014 confirmed cases reported in 2012. You may have read our blog post about ticks giving you helpful information on ticks, how to keep them out of your yard and how to remove one, but what is Lyme disease? How do you know if you have it?
If you have a tick bite and live in an area where it occurs, you should seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Red, expanding rash
- Fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes
- “Bull’s Eye Rash” – occurs in approximately 70-80% of infected persons and begins at the site of a tick bite after 3-30 days (average is about 7 days). The rash gradually expands over a period of several days and can reach up to 12 inches across. Parts of the rash may clear as it enlarges, resulting in a “bull’s-eye” appearance. Rash usually feels warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful.
At Mosquito Joe, we take tick protection seriously even if it isn’t in our name! Our barrier sprays not only take care of mosquitoes, we eliminate ticks as well. So while May is a month when we’re looking forward to being outdoors and celebrating warm weather, don’t forget it is also Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Ticks are out and about enjoying the warm weather too, so if you are camping this weekend or lounging in the grass at a cookout, please make sure you check for ticks. Celebrate Lyme Disease Awareness and the approaching summer this month by calling and setting up a Mosquito Joe treatment to make sure ticks (and other biting insects!) don’t call your yard home.