Ticks. Cape Cod's Lyme disease carrier.

Ticks are a huge pest, but they’re also a serious threat. Ticks are well known to spread Lyme disease, but also carry 12 other disease strains on Cape Cod. While treatable, these diseases can cause serious conditions that may even be life threatening. Protecting yourself from this menace means understanding the danger and knowing how to face it.

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans and animals by ticks. Symptoms vary, but in many cases, a bullseye-shaped rash around the bite site is the first sign. Prompt removal of ticks is one line of defense against contracting Lyme disease. However, juvenile ticks, the size of poppy seeds, can transmit diseases, so you may not even realize you’ve been bitten until it’s too late. 

The best way to avoid Lyme disease is to prevent ticks from coming into contact with your family and pets in the first place.

 

6 C's of tick control

Protect Your Home and Family

Ticks are dangerous. Learn more about how to protect your home from Jason Cameron, TV host and licensed contractor, and the 6Cs of tick control: Clear out, Clean, Choose Plants, Check Hiding Places, Care for Family Pets, Call the Pros. 

To learn more, watch the video or scroll through the slides below.


Quick Facts About Ticks

  • Although commonly referred to as insects, ticks are technically arachnids.
  • Ticks are classified as parasites since they all feed on the blood of host animals.
  • Tick species number in the hundreds, but only a handful typically transmits disease to humans.
  • The ticks of greatest concern in the US are the blackegged tick (also known as the deer tick in the eastern US), the Lone Star tick, and the dog tick.
  • Ticks do not jump or fly. Typically, they transfer to hosts by waiting on tall grass and crawling aboard when a mammal happens by.
  • Ticks can be active when the ground temperature is above 45 degrees Farenheit.
  • Ticks that endanger humans also choose deer hosts and are usually prevalent wherever deer are found.
  • Tick bites often go undetected because they do not hurt or itch.
  • Ticks that enter your home can live there for extended periods.
  • There are two families of ticks: hard ticks (Ixodidae) and soft ticks (Argasidae).
  • Hard ticks have three distinct life stages: larva, nymph and adult.
  • Soft ticks may go through a number of nymph stages before reaching adult status.
  • Tick larvae are not believed to carry pathogens. The pathogens are received from the host when the larvae take their first blood meal. They will not feed again until nymph stage.
  • The nymph stage is believed to be most responsible for infecting humans as nymphs are small and can more easily go undetected on the skin.

tick on a blade of grass

TICK-BORNE DISEASE

A Hidden Danger

Lyme Disease

The New England region has seen an almost epidemic-level rise in cases of Lyme disease over the last decade, and Massachusetts has the unfortunate distinction of being the state with the nation’s fourth-highest rate of Lyme disease. Reported cases of Lyme disease in Massachusetts occur year-round and are at their highest May through August. 

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans and animals by ticks. Symptoms vary, but in many cases, a bullseye-shaped rash around the bite site is the first sign. Prompt removal of ticks is one line of defense against contracting Lyme disease. However, juvenile ticks, the size of poppy seeds, can transmit diseases, so you may not even realize you’ve been bitten until it’s too late. 

Ehrlichiosis

Ehrlichiosis rarely affect humans and is most commonly found in deer and dogs. It is a bacterial infection and symptoms include headaches, fatigue and aches. Ehrlichiosis is treated with antibiotics.