As the winter finally comes to an end, people head outdoors for some fresh air and warmer temperatures. However, humans in the Hoosier State aren’t the only ones who love the spring and summer. Ticks also enjoy this time of year. When warm weather and seasonal rains begin, ticks emerge from their slumber and infest yards, parks and forests. Worse yet, these invasive pests transmit Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases to people and animals.
Lyme Disease – A Growing Concern in Indiana
In 2013 alone, Indiana reported more than 100 cases of Lyme disease, a notable increase from the 60 cases in the previous years. Since 1990, health care providers have reported 280 cases in 70 counties, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. With the rising tick populations and warmer summers, more people are at risk of developing tick-borne diseases across the state and throughout the country.
Detecting the Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms usually start within three to 30 days after a tick bite. Because the infection goes through different phases, the symptoms may vary in appearance and severity. Early signs of an infection include:
- Fever and chills
- Headache and swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle and joint aches
An erythema migrans (EM) rash may also develop and occurs in nearly 80 percent of cases. The rash starts at the site of the tick bite and spreads out to resemble a bull’s-eye. More severe symptoms can also occur within days to a month after a bite and include:
- Neck stiffness
- An EM rash in other areas of your body
- Irregular heart beat or heart palpitations
- Facial paralysis
- Nerve pain
- Arthritis pain
It’s important to note that a fever and other mild symptoms may occur without a rash. If you develop a small bump after a bite, it’s a normal occurrence and should go away in a day or two. If not, seek medical advice for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
How to Prevent Lyme Disease
You can take preventative steps and keep ticks off you and your property by mowing your grass regularly and keeping it cut low. You should also trim your hedges and use bug spray when you’re in areas where a tick infestation could be present. Performing regular tick checks after a hike or spending time in your yard can also prevent the tiny arachnids from doing any damage.
When the threat of developing a tick-borne disease keeps you inside, contact Yes Pest Pros for a scheduled visit. Our service professionals specialize in tick control and extermination and can treat tick-infested areas around your home. We also provide prevention services and will continue to protect you, your family and your pets from invasive tick infestations throughout the summer.