Many homeowners believe that if they don’t live near a wooded area, their property is safe and protected from disease-carrying fleas and ticks. Unfortunately, there are many hiding places right under our noses: porches, decks, tall grass, and heavily shaded areas are all hiding places for these harmful bugs. Here are just a few of the diseases you can protect yourself and your family from catching off ticks in Georgia.
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, and it’s transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. As a result, the victim can be stuck with chronic health problems. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated with a few weeks of antibiotics. That being said, don’t wait around if you know you’ve been bitten or suspect you’ve been bitten. The earlier you seek medical help, the better.
Early Lyme disease symptoms include:
If left untreated, late-stage symptoms of Lyme disease include:
Currently, only Lone Star ticks transmit this virus. It is not known at this time if other tick species can spread it as well. Once infected, patients experience fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle or joint pain. Victims are often hospitalized because the heartland virus can lower the white blood cell count, which increases the likelihood of infection. It can also lower the platelet count, which means that your blood will not clot as easily if you have a cut. And perhaps worst of all, the virus affects how the liver functions and increases liver enzymes. Like many tick-borne illnesses, it could take up to two weeks for the symptoms to appear.
Small children and pets are the most susceptible to tapeworm. They can become infected by accidentally swallowing a flea infected with the tapeworm larvae, which can easily happen if a pet bites themselves to relieve the itch of a flea bite or if your child puts something in their mouth that’s got a flea egg on it. When your dog, cat, or child is infected, the adult worms form bodies with segments, called proglottids, containing eggs so the worms can release their young into the environment. These proglottids break off when your pet has a bowel movement. Signs of tapeworms in pets and humans include objects that look like rice in the stool.
Flea-borne (murine) typhus is caught not from a flea bite but flea poop, also known as flea dirt. When this gets in the open wound created by their bite, the infection can spread. You can also get flea-borne typhus if you breathe in flea dirt or rub it into your eyes. The one good thing about this disease is that it cannot spread from person to person. It’s typically rare in the US, but it could become more common as the climate worsens. Typically, flea-borne typhus presents symptoms about two weeks after initial contact. These symptoms include:
Borrelia miyamotoi is a type of spiral-shaped bacteria that is distantly related to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Originally identified in ticks from Japan, B. miyamotoi has since been detected in two types of North American ticks: the blacklegged or “deer” tick and the Western blacklegged tick. Like other tick-borne illnesses, the symptoms of B. miyamotoi disease include fever, chills, headache, body and joint pain, and fatigue. Patients may develop a rash, though this is not common.
There are no vaccines for many of the diseases carried by fleas and ticks. Therefore, the absolute best way to protect yourself, your pets, and your family is through a professionally applied flea and tick control spray. Environmental Turf Management is a licensed and experienced pest control company that will eradicate fleas and ticks, no matter if they’re eggs, larvae, or breeding adults. Unlike other methods of pest control that merely repel the bugs, our treatment will kill them off so you can have true peace of mind all season long. A pest control treatment now could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in hospital bills later.
You don’t have to live under the constant threat of horrible diseases. Let the experts at Environmental Turf Management protect your home as we have for thousands of other homeowners with our flea and tick control program. We treat your yard multiple times throughout tick season so that you are protected without any gaps. If you’d like to learn more about this program or schedule an application, give us a call at (770) 466-0234 or leave us a message online here. And don’t forget to check out our blog page, where you can learn more about pest control and other lawn care topics. Or you can connect with us on social media! We’re active on Facebook and Twitter.