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Lyme Disease Awareness Month

National Lyme Disease Awareness Month, observed every May, aims to raise awareness about Lyme disease and educate the public on preventive measures. Lyme disease, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted through the bite of infected black-legged ticks, can lead to severe health issues if left untreated. During this month, health organizations and communities across the country emphasize the importance of early detection and prevention. Key strategies include using insect repellent, performing regular tick checks, wearing protective clothing, and promptly removing ticks. By promoting these practices, National Lyme Disease Awareness Month strives to reduce the incidence of Lyme disease and protect public health. Summit Wildlife Removal can help reduce the chance of Lyme disease transmission by removing tick-carrying animals from your property and treating your yard for ticks.

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is an infectious illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, primarily transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks. Early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease often include a distinctive rash called erythema migrans, which appears as a circular, red area that may expand over time, sometimes resembling a bull’s-eye pattern. Accompanying symptoms can include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system, leading to more severe complications such as arthritis, heart palpitations, and neurological issues. Early diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics are crucial to prevent the progression of the disease and ensure a full recovery.

How is Lyme Disease Spread?

Lyme disease is spread by black-legged ticks, more commonly known as deer ticks. Deer ticks are small arachnids that attach themselves to a host and feed on the host’s blood, typically injecting them with an anesthetic-type substance that reduces the likelihood of the host discovering the tick. During this feeding process, ticks can transmit diseases to their hosts. Many people or pets accidentally pick up ticks when hiking or spending time in the woods or in long grass. Ticks spend time in long grass and attach themselves to hosts that brush past, so anywhere with overgrown vegetation can lead to a potential tick infestation. If your lawn or yard is overgrown and full of tall grass, this poses a potential risk for tick bites. Other animals like raccoons, squirrels, opossums, skunks and rats can also carry ticks, and they can potentially spread ticks to you or your pets when they are hanging out inside your yard, basement or crawl space. Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, with 63,000 cases reported to the CDC in 2022. However, the CDC estimates that 476,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. While this may seem scary, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to prevent the spread of Lyme disease.

Controlling the Spread of Lyme Disease

Avoiding contact with ticks can help reduce the likelihood of Lyme disease transmission. When going into nature, wear proper clothing that offers protection against tick bites. Utilizing bug spray when in nature can also prevent these disease-carrying pests from latching onto you. Additionally, whenever you have been outside for a long time, check yourself for ticks and promptly remove any tick that has attached itself to you. If your dog has been outside with you, check them for ticks as well and promptly remove any tick on them. Keep your lawn and yard cut short, and remove excessive vegetation and leaf litter to prevent ticks from infesting your yard. 

Summit Wildlife Removal can also help you get rid of ticks on your property in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Fredericksburg. We offer wildlife removal services to keep tick-carrying critters like raccoons, skunks and opossums off your property, reducing the likelihood that they will transmit Lyme disease-carrying ticks to you or your pets. Summit Wildlife Removal also offers tick pest control services for your yard, eliminating any current tick populations and preventing future ones from getting established. Contact us today to get started at 703-884-2124!

Lyme Disease and Tick Control

Lyme disease is a very serious illness that is transmitted through the bites of infected black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks. Recognizing early signs, preventing tick bites and lowering tick populations are important to protecting public health and preventing the spread of this disease. Make sure you always take preventative measures when going out in nature, and always carefully inspect yourself afterwards for ticks. Keeping your grass cut short can help prevent these arachnids from infesting your property, and so can a good pest control program from Summit Wildlife Removal. Prevention and early detection is key for preventing Lyme disease, so prevent tick bites today and call us to get started on tick pest control at 703-884-2124!

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