Deer and Lyme Disease – What's the Correlation?

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When does tick season start? According tick expert Thomas Mather, it never ends. There might be snow on the ground and single-digit temperatures, but tick season is always just a few mild days away, Mather explained during a Jan. 22 presentation about ticks and Lyme disease at the Statehouse.

In fact, after a recent warm spell in early January Mather found dozens of ticks at one of his test sites. The causes of this tick population outbreak and spread of Lyme disease are not fully known, but a combination of climate, deer population growth and development of rural land are the prime suspects, according to James McDonald, chief administrative officer at the Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH).

Older ticks prefer to live on deer. Deer, therefore, tend to be the most common host for breeding deer ticks, especially when ticks are at their highest stage of transmitting Lyme disease. The correlation between deer and Lyme Disease exists. "We know that if you reduce the population of deer, you'll reduce the population of ticks," Coit said. "But we really don't know for sure about the relationship for reducing the deer populations and reducing the incidence of disease." Mice, birds and chipmunks also are hosts for deer ticks.

Lyme disease can be transmitted within 24 to 36 hour after a bite from an infected tick. Symptoms can occur up to six weeks after a tick bite. Symptoms include arthritis in large joints like shoulders and knees, severe headaches, memory loss, sleep disturbance, fatigue, depression and heart problems. For most people, Lyme disease is easily diagnosed and treated within weeks through antibiotics. But, 10 percent to 20 percent of people may have symptoms lasting months or years.

Tips to prevent tick bites:

• Wear repellent with DEET on skin or clothing.

• Create tick-safe zones in your yard through: 

  • Appropriate landscaping (keeping grass maintained)

  • A license pest control company treat for ticks

  • Keeping deer away from property

  • Check your body, clothing, and pets for ticks. 

  • Check under arms, ears, the belly button, backs of knees, between legs, around the waist, and in and around all head and body hair.

  • Shower soon after being outdoors.

  • Check clothes carefully or put into a dryer on high heat.

  • Prevent family pets from ticks into the home by using veterinarian-prescribed tick collars or spot-on treatment.

  • Remove ticks quickly and carefully using fine tipped tweezers.

Living in and around the Capital Region it is inevitable you will come across ticks. Unfortunately, keeping these insects away from your property is nearly impossible, but our pest management services can help. With simple tick precautions you can potentially avoid encounters with ticks, deer and Lyme Disease. Thomas Pest Services, your Ballston Spa pest control experts can help reduce you and your families’ risk. If you live in Clifton Park or elsewhere in the Capital Region and need assistance getting rid of ticks , fill out our contact form today!

Tags: albany pest control  |  tick control  |  lyme disease


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