Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Lyme disease, which frequently is associated with Deer ticks, is a major problem around the USA. You must follow a complete integrated management program to avoid this problem and use products like Jonathan Green’s Pest Kill Grub Control and Lawn Insect Control on your lawn. You need to properly identify the Deer tick and understand its life cycle and also know how to protect yourself and your property to reduce the risk of exposure.
Lyme disease was first discovered during the 1970’s when clusters of children developed arthritis around Lyme, Connecticut. The Center for Disease Control reports that Lyme disease has been reported in almost every State in the nation.
Lyme disease is an illness caused by a spirochete (a corkscrew-shaped bacterium) infection. Normally it is transferred to humans through contact with a deer tick, which feeds on mice, deer, shrews, chipmunks, dogs or other small animals. Ticks do not fly or jump onto their host; they latch onto passersby’s. These deer ticks are found in grassy areas, open fields and especially in the margin where fields meet wooded areas. Grass that is not mowed frequently can harbor deer ticks so keep your lawn mowed and be especially careful where mowed grass meets wooded areas.
Deer ticks have a life cycle with three stages, larva, nymph and adult. The larva hatch in late summer and begin to find a host to feed on. If the host is infected with Lyme disease the deer tick will also become infected with the disease. Larvae transform into nymphs in the fall and remain inactive throughout the winter and early spring in grass and leaf litter. In May, the nymphs begin to look for a host to latch onto. Too often, humans are hosts that come in contact with infected nymphs during their peak time of activity in late May to July. Nymphs molt into adults in the fall. Each female can lay 3,000 eggs so it is important to get control in areas that have had a history of deer tick populations.
Prevention is the best defense. Stay clear of tall grass near wooded areas and keep to the center of the path when hiking avoiding brush vegetation. Wear pants that are tucked into your socks and wear light colored clothing in order to detect ticks easier.
Check your companions frequently for ticks. Apply repellents, such as DEET or permethrin to your pants, shoes and socks.
Lyme disease reflects the following symptoms, headache, flu-like symptoms, spreading bull’s-eye rash, swelling and pains in the joints. Get treatment immediately if you have any symptoms since early detection is best to prevent long-term problems. If you find a tick on your body remove it as soon as possible. Ticks need to be attached for 24 hours for the bacteria to be transferred so if you find one you may not contract Lyme disease. Use tweezers only and grasp the tick around its head, close to the skin and pull up slowly and firmly. Do not crush the bloated abdomen. Disinfect the bite afterwards with antiseptic such as rubbing alcohol or povidone iodine. Do not use nail polish, Vaseline, matches or other methods to remove ticks. Put the tick in a container of rubbing alcohol or tape it to a card to identify at a doctors office. Mark the date and bite location for the physician.
You can also treat your yard with insect controls that will control and deter ticks such as carbaryl or permethrin. Jonathan Green’s Pest Kill Grub and Insect Control is an excellent product you can use to help control these insects. Treat your yard areas in May and again in June or July for control during peak months of activity. You can also utilize baits to lure rodents into plastic boxes, which wicks the animals fur with a pesticide that kills ticks for up to six weeks. The Maxforce Tick Management System was developed by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is available from professional applicators listed in phone directories.
There are many websites available to further educate yourself on Lyme disease and deer ticks. Pictures can help to identify ticks if you find one on yourself or your dog. Contact your local independent retail store or extension agent for information concerning your area. Follow all label directions with any pesticides. Enjoy the rest of the summer!Back