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Health Threats Posed by Ticks

Ticks are not on the usual list of pests people tend to worry about.  Unlike cockroaches or other insects, they cannot be seen very well by the naked eye. However, ticks of various kinds can make their presence known by the diseases they can spread.

WebMD notes that ticks like to fasten themselves to human skin, as well as the fur of pets, and feed on blood. Most people tend to get tick bites in the period between early spring and late summer. Ticks tend to be more prevalent outdoors where there are wild animals.

Most tick bites to not cause disease, but some do. Among the ailments that ticks can spread are Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tularemia, and Colorado tick fever. Some people are allergic to tick bites and react accordingly. Some symptoms of tick-borne diseases resemble a severe case of the flu. If you get bitten by a tick, try to remove it as soon as possible, wash the site of the bite, and watch for signs of disease before seeing the doctor.

Popular Mechanics has a good article about methods for controlling ticks. They mostly involve being vigilant about areas of your yard where ticks might gather and acting accordingly. You should take care of your pets by bathing them and providing them with tick and flea collars. Calling in a professional might also be indicated. A pest control expert will use sprays and also a device called a tick tube that is filled with permethrin-treated cotton balls. When a mouse comes upon these, they use the cotton balls to build a nest. The ticks that live on the mice are exposed to the permethrin, and they die.

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