How Much Do You Really Know About Ticks In New Jersey?
June 15, 2020
Is something making you uncomfortable? New Jersey summers can get hot and humid, but maybe there is more than just the weather making you uncomfortable – it could be ticks.
Ticks are some of the quietest pests you can get, but once they’ve found a host, they can wreak havoc on the health of your New Jersey household. If you’re finding suspicious bug bites, don’t risk letting the issue resolve itself – let’s see if you’ve got ticks on your property.
Common New Jersey Ticks
There are several different species of ticks in New Jersey. Each one looks slightly different and can transmit different diseases. Ticks are hard to identify because most only grow between 1-2 mm. On top of their small size, all ticks have flat, teardrop-shaped bodies, eight spiny legs, and small oval-shaped heads. The most common tick in New Jersey is the American dog tick, which has a pale brown body, relatively high mobility, and will readily use both humans and pets as a host.
Other tick species are less common but can still pose big threats to your household. The Lone Star tick is a more aggressive tick species, as it will attach to many different animals and travel from one place to another. Brown dog ticks are very specific to dogs, and unlike other species, they will sometimes leave their host and nest in cracks and crevices around a house. Finally, deer ticks are perhaps the most dangerous tick species, though they are usually encountered in the woods and rarely make their way to well maintained properties.
Diseases Associated with New Jersey Ticks
No two tick species transfer the same diseases, but all of them pose grave concerns to the health of your household. The first sign of the tick-borne disease is a tick bite. Ticks bite their hosts because they feed on animal blood. As they feed, they tend to get plumper and more darkish-red.
Unlike other pests, ticks tend to stay on their hosts and feed over multiple days, so you may even see a tick somewhere on your skin. If you don’t see the tick, you’ll probably see the resulting bite – usually in a warm, moist place on the body, like in the hair or armpits. These tick bites are small, red, and sometimes asymptomatic, but they can be itchy, painful, burning, blistering, or even cause difficulty breathing, depending on your sensitivity.
Not all tick bites result in diseases, but you might not know you have an infection until you see a bite and see a medical professional. A common tick-related disease is Lyme disease, in which the tick bite grows into a large “bulls-eye” shape and causes fatigue, muscle aches, and potentially arthritis or other chronic illnesses. Depending on the species, tick bites can also cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, anaplasmosis, the Heartland virus, and other dangerous conditions.
If you see the signs of a tick bite, seek medical help immediately. The best way to ward off these infections is to prevent ticks from happening at all. Consider the following to keep your pets and family safe:
Avoid tall grasses and wooded, brushy areas. Ticks will “quest” for a host in these areas and latch onto you in these habitats, then get to feasting right away.
If you can’t avoid these kinds of areas, spray your clothing with permethrin. This helps prevent ticks from attaching to your skin. Only treat your clothes with it – not your pets.
Clean up brush, leaves, woodpiles, and cut tall grasses around the yard. If your lawn is habitable for ticks, they’re sure to find their way onto your clothes. This also ensures that common wildlife hosts, such as rodents, stay away from your family, keeping their ticks away as well.
Check your clothing and pets for ticks when you come indoors, and be sure to shower right away. Ticks can commonly be found in your hair, under your armpits, around the waist, and behind your knees.
If you find yourself dealing with tick bites, see ticks around the house or lawn, or are worried you have a tick bite, first see a medical professional, then get rid of the problem pests for good with New Jersey’s own Amco Pest Solutions. Reach out today!