Why Ticks Are Dangerous to New York Residents and Pets
Tick diseases have exploded in suburban landscapes because ticks can quickly travel from these densely packed breeding grounds into our yards by using birds as hosts. They can also be carried into our yards by mice, rodents, and other wildlife animals. Homes that are bordered by wooded areas are at an even greater risk for exposure to tick-borne illnesses.
While we've been focusing on Lyme disease in this article, all tick-borne diseases have thrived in this fragmented urban forest environment. When these animals enter our yards from these wooded areas, they can introduce a variety of ticks that have the potential to transmit disease including black-legged ticks, American dog ticks, lone star ticks, and any other ticks they are carrying into your yard.
Both humans and our pets are at risk of contracting tick-borne diseases. With tick exposure in our area being so common, it is important for New York residents to learn to recognize the conditions that allow ticks to live in our yards and to identify the symptoms of the diseases they carry.
Ticks need moisture in order to survive. If they drop off of an animal in your yard, they will move to a moist, shaded location. The landscaping near a home is a very common hiding place for ticks. In this safe location, they will lie in wait for a new host. While you are tending to your landscaping, be aware that you can pick up a tick out there as well as in other similar locations around your property
The diseases spread by ticks are quite varied. Initial symptoms can include fatigue, a fever, and a rash. As these diseases develop, it can lead to more serious flu-like symptoms including muscle aches and vomiting. Some tick-borne diseases can develop to a chronic stage and lead to lifelong health issues for you or your pets.
The most common diseases spread by ticks in our service area are Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, tularemia, encephalitis, bartonellosis, and anaplasmosis. Some of these illnesses don’t affect our dogs and cats in the same way they affect us. This is important to keep in mind. For instance, bartonellosis can make you very sick while your cat may only experience a mild fever for a few days from this illness. In a recent news story, an Ohio woman woke up blind in one eye because her cat had contracted Bartonella henselae, also known as cat scratch disease, and transmitted it to her by licking her near her eye. Luckily, the physician diagnosing her made the link and the illness was caught and treated in time. But it doesn't always happen that way. Sometimes tick-borne diseases are not caught and they worsen to an untreatable state, such is the case with Lyme disease.
Tick populations and the tick-borne diseases are on the rise in New York and they are becoming more and more dangerous to us and our pets every day. By learning to recognize tick illnesses, keeping the moisture levels and shade to a minimum in your yard, taking precautions when you go into wooded areas, and investing in professional tick reduction services for your yard, you can help protect yourself, your family members, and your pets from the threat of tick-borne diseases. To learn more about our tick box tick control and mosquito & tick control services, reach out to us at Thomas Pest Services!