April begins the season to be aware of ticks and the risk of tick-borne diseases. So, if you spend time outdoors or have pets that go outdoors, you need to beware of ticks and the diseases that they can carry.
Types of Ticks in Alabama
Ticks are small blood-sucking parasites that can transmit diseases to animals and people.
- The most common types of ticks in Alabama are:
- Lone star ticks (also known as the water tick)
- Deer ticks (also known as the black-legged tick)
- American dog ticks (also known as a wood tick)
What are Tick-Borne Diseases?
Tick-borne diseases can be difficult to diagnose and confirm, so see your doctor if you have been bitten by a tick and experience symptoms. In Alabama, ticks can cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, rickettsiosis, southern tick-associated rash illness, and tularemia.
How does a Tick-Borne Disease Spread?
Ticks survive by eating blood from humans and animals. If a human or an animal has a blood-borne infection, the tick will ingest the bacteria or parasites while feeding. At the next feeding, the tick will pass the disease to the next human or animal. If you get a tick bite and develop symptoms, see a healthcare provider for treatment.
A few symptoms of a tick-borne disease are:
- Many tick-borne diseases have similar signs and symptoms, which include fever/chills, aches and pains, and rash.
- Rashes may appear as circular, “bull’s eye,” skin ulcer, general rash, or non-itchy spots depending on the disease.
- After being bitten by a tick, symptoms may develop a few days to weeks later.
How do I Remove a Tick?
Finding a tick on your body can be scary, to say the least. Here are steps on how to remove a tick from your body:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure.
- Do not twist or jerk the tick, because it may cause the mouth to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth with tweezers.
- If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone, and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
- Do not paint the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or use heat to make the tick detach from the skin.
How to Prevent Ticks
It’s important to protect yourself and your family from ticks year-round, but especially from April-September. Here are some tips on how to prevent ticks from latching on to your body.
- Ticks live in wooded, bushy fields (high grass and leaf litter), and around homes, so avoid wooded and bushy areas. Walk in the center of trails.
- Use insect repellents that contain 20% or more DEET on exposed skin and permethrin on clothing. Parents should apply products to children, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth.
- After outdoor activity, bathe within 2 hours, conduct full-body check with mirror, and inspect children, pets, clothing, and outdoor gear, such as backpacks.
- Tumble dry clothes on high heat setting one hour to kill missed ticks.
- Call SafeSpray Pest Control
SafeSpray’s Tick Control
One of our trained professionals will treat all of the vegetation on your property. When the ticks go to rest in or feed on the vegetation, they will ingest the solution and die—this effectively sets up a barrier around the property. Under normal conditions, the solution will dry in 30 minutes posing a negligible chance of transferring to people or animals that brush against the vegetation. Once the solution has dried, there is no odor or visible residue. Our mosquito, flea, and tick control will provide you and your family a tick-free yard for 21 days. We will come back and reapply every three weeks throughout the mosquito season. If you’re ready to get rid of ticks and get expert same-day services, we offer pest control in Opelika, Auburn, Daphne, Huntsville, Madison and other Alabama cities. Check out the full list of areas we service or contact us today!