4 Reasons Poppyseed-Sized Ticks Are More Dangerous Than Adult Ones:
1) They are much bigger than adult ticks.
(Adult ticks average 1/2 inch long and they have two legs.)
2) They can transmit Lyme Disease.
(Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that live in deer ticks.) If you get bitten by one of these ticks, it could lead to your getting Lyme disease.
3) They can transmit other diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Babesia.
(Babesia is a parasitic infection that affects the brain and spinal cord.) If you get bitten by one of these ticks, it could lead to your getting RMSF or BMSF.
4) They are not going away anytime soon!
In the above picture, you see a red-legged tick. These ticks can carry many different diseases including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesia and others. You may think that these ticks don’t exist anymore but they are still around and there are still people out there getting bitten by them. There is no way to eradicate these bugs so we need to learn how to prevent being bitten in the first place.
How To Prevent Being Bitten By A Tick?
Here are a few tips to lower your risk of being bitten by a tick.
1) Check yourself regularly for ticks.
(Use a hand-held mirror to view hard-to-see places like the back of your head and between your shoulder blades.) If you find a tick attached to you, use fine-tipped tweezers like these to remove it immediately.
2) Use approved insect repellents on your clothing and exposed skin.
3) If you go into a wooded area, walk in the center of the trail.
Stay on the trail and avoid walking through shrubby vegetation.
If you follow these tips, you can greatly reduce your risk of getting bitten by a tick. And if you do get bitten by a tick, chances are it will be an adult one and not a poppyseed-sized one.
More information about ticks can be found here.
If you need help with tick removal, speak with your doctor or seek assistance at your nearest urgent care center. If you remove a tick within 24 hours of being bitten, your chances of getting Lyme disease are very low. If you remove a tick within 36 hours, your chances of getting Lyme disease are even lower.
Tips On How To Tell If You Have Lyme Disease
If you have spent time in wooded or grassy areas where deer live and you develop an expanding circular red bull’s eye rash (erythema migrans), see your doctor immediately. If you are diagnosed with erythema migrans, you should tell your doctor if you have had any of the following symptoms as these may indicate late stage Lyme disease:
Stiffness in your neck
Pain and swelling in joints (e.g. your knees)
Pain and swelling in your muscles (e.g. your calves or thighs)
Tingling numbness and loss of function in your limbs
Migratory muscle pains (myalgias)
Fever and/or chills
Tiredness and fatigue
Cognitive problems (e.g. trouble with short-term memory, word recall or concentrating)
If you experience any of the late symptoms after a bite from a tick and you have been in a high risk area for Lyme disease within the last 30 days, seek medical help immediately.
Your best protection against getting Lyme is to prevent being bitten by wearing appropriate clothing (long pants and long sleeved shirts) and using insect repellents. If you do get bitten by a tick and experience symptoms, visit your doctor immediately. Early treatment with a course of antibiotics can prevent the development of late stage Lyme disease. If not treated early, it can lead to serious complications.
May all your hikes be tick free!