Do All Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?◀ Back To Blog
October 10, 2019
Do All Ticks Have Lyme Disease?
Luckily, the answer to this question is no, not every tick carries Lyme Disease; that honor (or dishonor) is reserved to only a few species of ticks. In the Northeastern United States, the only identified Lyme disease carrier that frequents the area is the blacklegged tick, otherwise known as a deer tick (or in the Midwest, a bear tick).
Deer ticks have an orange-ish brown body color, with 8 darker colored legs, and are tiny - usually only about 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch long, with female deer ticks measuring in larger than the males. Their small size actually acts in their favor, because it allows them to lurk amongst blades of grass without being spotted, and once they latch, they’re not always immediately visible. They are also ovular in shape with flat bodies.
How do I know if I have Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease can be a very serious condition; if you, a loved one, or a loved pet are displaying any of the following symptoms of Lyme Disease, it’s important that you contact a medical professional or veterinarian immediately:
- Severe headache
- Joint pain caused by joint swelling
- Neck stiffness
- Heart palpitations
- Jolts of Pain
- Tingling in hands or feet
- Drooping of one or both sides of the face
- Brain and spinal cord inflammation
Other Tick-Borne Diseases
According to the CDC, Lyme Disease isn’t the only disease that ticks carry; in fact they carry over 15 other diseases transmittable to both humans and pets. A short list of those diseases transmitted specifically by the blacklegged tick includes:
- Powassen Disease: Though often asymptomatic, when symptoms do occur they range from less severe-fever, headache, and vomiting- to more severe, with symptoms like seizure, confusion, and difficulty speaking. In rare cases, when left untreated, it can lead to death.
- Anaplasmosis: Much like Powassen Disease, symptoms of Anaplasmosis include fever and nausea/vomiting, along with muscle aches and severe headaches.
- Babesosis: Babesosis usually does not have noticeable symptoms, but when it does, symptoms tend to be flu-like: fever, nausea, body aches, and fatigue are all common. In rare cases it can also cause a form of anemia, and can be very dangerous for people with already existing conditions or illnesses.
As with Lyme Disease, if you, a loved one, or a pet displays any of the above symptoms for these diseases, it’s best to contact a medical professional as quickly as possible.
What are the Signs of a Tick Infestation?
It’s not always easy to identify a tick infestation, particularly if you don’t have pets. If you do have pets, checking them for ticks is not only important for their health, but also for discovering whether or not you have a tick problem. One tick on your pet now and then is not always a sign of an infestation- pets can wander outside of your property from time to time- but if you are frequently seeing ticks are your pets (or on yourself for that matter), chances are you have a tick infestation.
If you don’t have cats or dogs and haven’t found any ticks on yourself, ticks can easily go unrecognized, because usually their bites do not have noticeable symptoms. However, if you happen to have an allergic reaction to tick bites, swelling, rash, a burning sensation at the bite, and blisters may appear, which can act as an unfortunate sign of ticks.
What to Do About a Tick Infestation
Ticks don’t travel very far on their own; in fact, they often end up in yards by latching onto mice and other wild animals. That’s why at Thomas Pest Services, we use Tick Box Tick Control, a system that targets not just ticks, but also the mice that unknowingly carry them. We’ve found this process to be the most effective at keeping ticks out of customers lawns, and in-turn keeping diseases like Lyme Disease from spreading!
Want to learn more about our Tick Box Tick control process? Read our recent blog detailing the process “Using Tick Box Tick Control to Prevent Lyme Disease”.