Why Tick Populations Are On The Rise In Falls Church, VA and How To Protect Yourself
One of the effects of climate change that we experience is higher temperatures and higher levels of precipitation. These two make for a suitable environment for tick population growth. Unfortunately, it’s something that the residents of Falls Church, VA have to grapple with, along with the rest of America.
“Coast to coast, our country experienced unseasonably warm and wet conditions this winter, allowing certain pest populations not usually seen during this time of year to surge in population,” said Jim Fredericks, Ph.D., chief entomologist for the NPMA. “These conditions allowed vector pests such as ticks, responsible for the spread of Lyme disease, and mosquitoes, common vectors of West Nile virus, Zika virus and Eastern equine encephalitis to get a jumpstart on activity, and with more warm and wet weather predicted for summer across most of the U.S., we’ll likely see these populations, and others, rapidly expand.” Read more at Tullahoma News…
If you’re wondering how ticks transmit disease, you might be grossed out by this… They spit germs into your body. Once you become a tick host, it finds a safe spot to feed then inserts a feeding tube into your skin. It can suck blood using this tube for several days, while spitting saliva simultaneously. If the tick is carrying a disease, this could be passed on to you through the saliva.
Several days may sound incredible. One might assume that you should have noticed something within a few seconds of the bite. However, it’s not just the adult ticks that transmit diseases. The nymph, which is about the size of a poppy seed, can also transmit Lyme disease to humans. This makes them hard to see, which is also why they’re the most likely to transmit diseases to humans.
Q. What do baby ticks look like?
Larvae are very small dots, barely visible. But if you look at them under a microscope, you’ll see six legs. Nymph ticks, the next stage, have eight.
Q. Will you feel it when a tick bites?
Probably not. When they’re attaching themselves to a host, ticks secrete saliva that acts like an anesthetic. So if they’re in a hard-to-see spot on your body, you may not notice. Read more at WebMD…
It’s worth noting that baby ticks don’t transmit diseases; only the nymphs and adults can. Adult ticks are easier to spot because they about the size of a sesame seed. You’re therefore more likely to remove one from your body before it passes any bacteria along.
The next concern one would have, naturally, is what to do in case you spot a tick on your body. While you want to get rid of it as quickly as possible, be sure to do it carefully. Be sure to us fine tweezers to grasp the tick and pull backwards gently but firmly. Do not crush the tick, as bodily fluids could contain harmful bacteria. Do not try to remove any mouth parts left on the skin – these will be expelled naturally.
If a person is bitten by a deer tick (the type of tick that carries Lyme disease), a healthcare provider will likely advise one of two approaches:
- Observe and treat if signs or symptoms of infection develop
- Treat with a preventive antibiotic immediately
There is no benefit of blood testing for Lyme disease at the time of the tick bite; even people who become infected will not have a positive blood test until approximately two to six weeks after the infection develops (post-tick bite). Read more at UpToDate…
If the tick was not attached to your skin, then it’s safe to say that it probably did not transmit an infection. That’s because ticks take about 24 hours before they start feeding on the host, and about 36 hours of feeding before it can transmit an infection.
If the tick was attached, then take note of its size and color, and whether it was full of blood. This information will be used by your doctor to advise you on the best course of action to take.
The best way to deal with ticks is to ensure they don’t even get near you or your loved ones. And that’s exactly what we at Backyard Bug Patrol do for our clients in Fairfax County, VA. Our barrier sprays and tick tunnels are the perfect combination for complete tick eradication. Call today!