Delaware is simply stunning in the summer and autumn months. This state and its neighbors enjoy warm temperatures that beckon residents and visitors to go outside and explore the many beautiful natural recreational areas we have here. However, the outdoors has its inherent risks and as tree care professionals, we recognize that one of those risks is tick bites.
Ticks are dangerous creatures that are more than just nuisances. Due to their parasitic nature, ticks are known for carrying and transmitting several serious diseases that can leave a person with long-term ailments and, in some cases, can be fatal.
According to the CDC, the worst of these diseases and the ones that Delaware residents are susceptible to include:
Lyme disease. Left untreated, Lyme disease frequently causes an array of flu-like symptoms, including fever, fatigue, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and joint aches. Generally, a quick round of antibiotics will clear up these symptoms but for some people, those symptoms can persist for months and, in a few rare cases, even years.
Alpha-gal allergy (aka red meat allergy). This frustrating disease originated from the Lone Star tick, a tick that once remained primarily in the Great Plains region but has steadily made its way as far north and east as Delaware. When a person is bitten by this tick, they may have a sugar called the alpha-gal transferred into their immune system. This alpha-gal sugar causes the person to suffer food allergy symptoms when consuming red meat. The recovery period can be anywhere from 8 months to 5 years.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Also most commonly carried by the Lone Star tick, this disease causes aggressive fever-like symptoms that can be life-threatening if not quickly and properly treated.
Ticks are relatively small and can be easy to miss, especially as they will commonly latch onto creases like underneath armpits, at the crease beneath your waistband, and in the fold behind your knee. They are also especially good at finding hidden places on your dogs, cats, and other furry friends. Because most of these diseases occur when ticks have stayed latched onto a person for at least 24 hours, prevention and quick removal are the two primary methods of protecting yourself and your family from disease.
Use DEET-labelled insect repellant on both clothes and skin before going out into wooded areas or areas with high grasses as these are the places ticks are most likely to be found. Additionally, make sure any outdoor pets are on a reputable tick-prevention pill like Bravecto before venturing out. Finally, always do a tick check in the shower once you return from a day in grassy or woody areas.
Stein Tree is the oldest independently owned tree care company in Delaware. We care about the residents of our community and we are passionate about the health of the plants and trees in our landscapes. For information about how to properly care for your trees, or for tree care services, such as tree removal, trimming and pruning or insect management, contact us today. We offer free consultations.
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