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Which Ticks Carry Lyme disease?

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Ticks and Lyme disease

Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted through the bite of a tick that carries it. Each year in the United States, an estimated 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are newly contracted. Lyme disease has no known cure and can cause severe joint pain, fatigue and neurological problems like Bell’s Palsy. 

While these statistics alone are enough to scare you at the thought of all ticks, it is important to note that not all ticks carry Lyme disease. Even if you do get bit by a tick carrying Lyme disease, the chances that it will transmit the disease-carrying bacteria that causes Lyme depends on factors such as the time that has elapsed before you have found it and removed it, the type of tick, how old it is, where the tick is from, and even whether or not the tick is female or male. 

What Are The Symptoms of Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is most often first detected by a distinctive expanding round or oval “bullseye” rash. This is a rash consisting of concentric red rings that resemble a bullseye. 

Symptoms vary from person to person and are affected by how long the infection has been present in the body. If left untreated, neurological symptoms and heart problems may develop. People who do not treat their Lyme disease also have a 60 percent chance of developing what’s known as “Lyme arthritis.” There is no known cure for Lyme disease.

Where Are Ticks With Lyme Disease?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website has the most up-to-date information about where each type of tick that carries Lyme disease can be found in the U.S. Not all ticks carry the same disease and not every tick lives in all parts of the country. For example, blacklegged or deer ticks live in the Northeast, Southeast, South and Midwest, but the spread of Lyme disease mostly occurs in the Northeast and Upper Midwest. 

Which Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

The bacterium which causes Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted by ticks of the Ixodes genus which includes deer ticks and blacklegged ticks. These ticks are themselves very small, and the majority of cases where the infection is spread to humans occur through nymphs and adult female bites. Because tick bites don’t hurt and nymphs can be less than 2 millimeters in size making them go virtually undetected. 

How To Protect Yourself From Ticks

The only way to guard yourself from Lyme disease is to protect yourself from tick bites. Lyme disease isn’t the only disease that ticks transmit, so arming yourself with knowledge about tick activity in any area is a good idea. Make sure to check an area before traveling or hiking to see if that area has any known tick infestations.  

If you know you will be spending time in a wooded area that has tall grasses, wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Wear a hat or other kind of head covering. To prevent ticks from climbing up the inside of your pant leg, one of their favorite modes of getting to bite sites, tuck the bottom of your pants into your boots or socks. Spray your clothes with a bug spray that contains at least 10 percent DEET, but avoid spraying the bug repellant on your skin as it can cause harm and irritation. If you think you have ticks regularly around your property, reach out to a pest control specialist to help with tick control.

Find A Pest Specialist For Tick Control

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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