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May Is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Engorged Tick

Did you know that this month is Lyme Disease Awareness Month? According to an announcement made by the CDC on May 1, Lyme disease is a multisystem disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. The organism is transmitted through the bite of certain species of blacklegged ticks. Though the numbers are not out for 2014, state and local health departments reported approximately 35,000 cases of Lyme disease to CDC in 2013, making it the fifth most commonly reported nationally notifiable condition.

So do residents of Rhode Island and Massachusetts need to worry about Lyme disease? The answer is yes, they most certainly do. Blacklegged ticks, more commonly known as deer ticks, are prevalent in the eastern portion of the U.S. and a serious problem for those that live and/or spend time outdoors in both New England states, especially Massachusetts.

Before you shut yourself indoors for the summer, please remember that not all ticks have Lyme disease. If you spend time outdoors we recommend taking precautions to avoid encounters with these pests.

Steer clear of tick-rich areas. Ticks like to hang out on the edges of hiking trails and wooded paths, in tall grasses and by fences.

Dress to repel ticks. If you’re going for a hike in the woods or just working on the lawn, wear light-colored clothing. Dark colors attract these pests. You should also wear pants, long-sleeved shirts and avoid sandals or other opened toed shoes.

Keep your lawn mowed. Ticks prefer tall grass so keeping your lawn trimmed will help deter them.

Talk to your vet. Protecting your pets from ticks will also protect the rest of the family since they often bring these pests inside. Discuss what type of tick treatment would best suit your dog and if it’s a good idea to vaccinate your pet for Lyme.

Remember to check yourself, family members and pets when you come in from the outdoors. If you find a tick on your person, don’t panic. Click here to find out how to remove the tick. We also encourage you to seek medical advice if know you've been bitten by a tick.  You may develop a rash or experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and/or joint aches

Treatment for Lyme is necessary and the earlier it is administered, the better.

At Big Blue Bug Solutions, we offer mosquito and tick control services that will help you cut back on the mosquito and tick populations on your property. Contact us today to learn more about our this effective tick solution and how it will allow you to enjoy your backyard this summer!