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What You Should Know About Ticks And Lyme Disease In Charlotte, NC

A deer tick crawling on a leaf

Being outdoors in Charlotte, NC can bring happiness, but it can also bring parasites. Whether you're on a hike or in your backyard, you could come across ticks. Unfortunately, ticks are more than a nuisance and can make you seriously ill. All it takes is one bite from a tick for you to catch Lyme disease, and the consequences may be life-changing. Find out everything you should know about local ticks and Lyme disease.

What Ticks Should You Look Out For?

No ticks are desirable, but some are more dangerous than others. Out of all the ticks in Charlotte, deer ticks are the most common type to spread Lyme disease. Adult male deer ticks are brown, but turn reddish-brown when they feed on you. Although the females are larger than the males, they still only grow to about five millimeters long. Typically, they are redder than the males.

As a deer tick feeds on a host, they become larger and swollen. In fact, they sometimes double in size. Before feeding, these ticks have flat bodies and are visible but difficult to see. They often go unnoticed in human and animal hosts, only to be found after they latch on and start eating.

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a serious illness transmitted by ticks. Contrary to popular belief, the ticks don't cause the disease - they spread it when they bite you if they are carriers of the disease. At first, you may not even notice the tick on you. They don't cause pain when they bite, and ticks can suck on your blood without you realizing it.

If a Lyme-carrying tick bites you, the symptoms might not be obvious right away. One of the first symptoms of Lyme disease tends to be a bullseye rash. What begins as a tiny red spot spreads into a clear bullseye target. Over half of people with Lyme disease have this rash. Other signs of the disease include:

  • Pain in joints
  • Chills and a fever
  • Constant fatigue

If you don't receive medical treatment, Lyme disease spreads into the neurological system and results in other conditions, such as facial paralysis, memory loss, and mood changes. Long-term complications are possible, especially if you don't receive treatment for Lyme disease. At the first signs of trouble, see a doctor.

Can You Protect Yourself From Lyme?

The best way to prevent yourself from catching Lyme disease is to keep ticks away from you and your property. To accomplish this goal, consider doing all of the following:

  • Clean Yard Debris: Unlike many other pests in Charlotte, NC ticks don't like to travel on their own accord. They're hitchhikers, often traveling on the backs of rodents. For this reason, keeping ticks away also means keeping rodents away. A key to rodent prevention is to maintain a clean yard. If you remove piles of leaves and sticks from your yard, your property will be less appealing to rodents and their parasites. Keep your grass short and your bushes tidy.
  • Remove Rodent Food Sources: Another way to keep rodents away is to remove all of their potential sources of food. If your garbage cans don't have lids, buy lids or replace them with ones that do. There will be less food for rodents, and you'll be less likely to find ticks on your property.
  • Wear Long Sleeves And Pants: If you know you have ticks in your yard or you plan on going hiking, wear long sleeves and long pants. Tuck your pants into the socks to make it more difficult for ticks to get to you.

Contact an Expert

Here at Go-Forth Home Services, we have experienced technicians who can keep ticks away. For more than 55 years we have provided home extermination services. We have ongoing tick prevention services with low-cost treatment plans that are safe for kids and pets. Call us today at Go-Forth Home Services to learn more or get started with a free quote.