Every May, Lyme Disease Awareness Month takes center stage to inform homeowners about the dangers of this tick-borne condition. This summer, we’re partnering with celebrity designer Genevieve Gorder, who lives with Lyme disease, to raise awareness and support research for a cure. Ten percent of proceeds from all tick services during the months of May, June and July, will be donated to the Global Lyme Alliance to support their mission of conquering Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses.
Here are the most important things to take away from Lyme Disease Awareness Month 2019.
What Causes Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted by infected ticks when they bite into skin and transfer the bacteria into the victim’s bloodstream. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, two ticks carry this disease in the United States. This includes the black-legged tick (found in the northeast, mid-Atlantic, and north-central states) as well as the western-legged tick (present on the west coast). Each year, over 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported in the U.S.
What Are the Effects of Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease signs are not always obvious. Common symptoms often include fatigue, fever, joint pain and headaches. One of the most prominent symptoms is an erythema migraines rash. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, this can appear at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days. Paying close attention to symptoms is critical as Lyme disease can be better treated with early detection. That said, additional blood tests may be required for confirmation. You should seek medical attention immediately if you notice any of the previously mentioned symptoms.
How Can You Prevent Lyme Disease?
One of the most important initiatives of Lyme Disease Awareness Month is prevention. In this case, it all comes down to tick control and awareness. Some preventative measures involve:
- Modifying Tick Habitats: Recommendations for habitat modification include regularly grooming your yard, eliminating crops attractive to deer and other animals, and removing bird feeders as well as wood piles from your property. It’s also best to avoid traveling into wooded areas where ticks live.
- Dressing for the Occasion: Since ticks are small, they can be difficult to detect. If you’re planning to visit tick-infested habitats, wear light-colored clothing to make them easier to identify. Additionally, you should wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible. This includes wearing pants, long sleeve shirts and closed-toed shoes.
- Checking Pets: Many pets will unknowingly pick up ticks when wandering outside. Since ticks change hosts numerous times throughout their lifespan, they may migrate from your pet to your body. You should continually check your pets for ticks to ensure your furry friends are not bringing them indoors.
- Self-Diagnosis: After returning indoors from a wooded area, you should check yourself for ticks. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends checking in and around your hair, ears, under your arms, inside of your belly button, around your waist, between your legs and behind your knees.
- Application: A pest management professional can apply the necessary chemicals around your home. This may be particularly helpful for homeowners living near tick habitats and those with pets.
Here at Terminix®, we would like to think that every month should be Lyme Awareness Month with how important awareness surrounding it should be. Since we are not able to do that – we will take the month of May to bring as much awareness around the disease and ways to attempt prevention as much as possible. If you’re worried about ticks in your yard, schedule an appointment with Terminix. Our trained technicians can hunt down the places ticks live to help keep them out of your yard for good.