With tick season in full force, many experts are calling it one of the worst years for ticks, especially in the South. A warm winter, plus a summer that’s likely to be warmer than usual, have ticks coming out in full force. Ticks get their nutrients from feeding off the blood of their host, and as creatures that aren’t capable of drinking water, they thrive in climates that are hot and humid. There are currently 16 diseases that ticks can carry and scientists are adding more to the list as more research is being done. Recently, a study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine found a new disease that ticks were capable of carrying; the Alongshan Virus, named after the Mongolian town in which it was found, causes fever and headaches in those infected.
While this tick disease was discovered in a far away part of the world, some of the diseases that ticks carry in the Carolinas are: Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and anaplasmosis, to name a few. “There are some precautions that can be taken to help prevent tick bites,” Chase Hazelwood, CEO and owner of Go-Forth Pest Control, says, “If a person is going to be in an environment where ticks are rampant, such as the woods, the best way to stay protected in addition to insect repellant, is by wearing long sleeves and pants and wearing a hat.” “Tucking your pants into your socks reduces the likelihood of ticks latching onto one’s legs,” Hazelwood continues, “It’s important to check oneself when returning home.
If a tick is found, remove it with tweezers immediately, being careful to remove all mouthparts from the wound, and clean the wound. It is recommended that you keep the tick inside a glass jar with a little rubbing alcohol in case you develop a reaction and need to have the tick identified.”
The most effective way to keep ticks off of your property is by keeping the grass in the yard cut short. Creating a barrier around one’s property through the use of wood chips and gravel can also help prevent ticks from being in recreational areas.
If ticks continue to be a problem, there are services that professional pest control operators can provide. By treating the foliage on your property it is less likely that ticks will harbor on your property.
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