Lyme disease season is here. The disease affects an estimated 300,000 Americans per year, especially during the summer months. Lyme disease is caused by a specific bacteria carried in several animals, and then transferred to humans through tick bites. Ticks carrying Lyme disease can be found in especially wooded areas of the country, including northern Illinois. Animals such as mice, chipmunks, squirrels, opossums, and raccoons can be infected. This means finding a pest on your property could mean more than an annoyance, but also a risk of infectious disease.
Lyme Disease is often characterized by the bull-eye rash it causes at the bite location. The infectious disease is carried by ticks and transmitted to humans when the ticks are attached for 36 – 48 hours. Signs of Lyme disease range from flu-like symptoms like fever, fatigue, headaches to serious conditions like heart palpitations, skin disorders, and loss of mobility. In rare cases, the bacteria can spread to the brain or heart. The disease is known to cause long-term symptoms and illness, though they vary greatly.
Prevention & Pest Control
To avoid contracting the disease, there are several precautions that can be taken. Avoid tick prone areas that are heavily wooded. If traveling to a tick prone area, wear long sleeves and pants, closed toe shoes, and a hat. After you or your pets have been in a heavily wooded area, check hair and fur for ticks. In addition, if you discover animal pests on your property (that may be carrying the disease) call pest control to have the animals removed. Especially make sure to have animal pests removed if you have pets that spend time outdoors.