Do Ticks In Maryland Carry Lyme Disease?

05/16/2014


Ticks   

While there is a presence of ticks in every state in America, each state varies with the different type of species. The most commonly found ticks in Maryland include the American dog tick, the blacklegged (deer) tick and the Lone star tick.

All ticks are carriers of diseases and every precaution should be taken to avoid any opportunity of being bitten. The American dog tick, also referred to as the wood tick, feeds off dogs and humans. This fairly large tick is a carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and can also cause tick paralysis. The Lone Star tick feeds off humans and is a carrier of tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

The Blacklegged tick, also referred to as the deer tick, is the primary carrier of Lyme Disease. This tick is brown with black legs and only about 1/8 inch long when unfed. The life cycle of the blacklegged tick is 2 years. The adult ticks feed throughout the winter on the white tailed deer. The larval and nymph ticks can be seen throughout the summer as they feed on small animals such as mice and chipmunks with the preferred host being the white-footed mouse.

Most exposure to ticks will be while in wooded areas or tall grassy fields and trails. Summer camping trips are almost sure to include a presence of ticks. The following simple suggestions will reduce the risk of tick bites and exposure to Lyme disease:

  1. Tuck your pants into the top of your socks and keep your shirt tucked in while hiking in the woods or grassy areas.

  2. Don’t sit on logs, stumps or the bare ground. Periodically perform a thorough inspection of your clothing and body, looking for ticks that have not yet become attached.

  3. In the event of an attached tick, use a pair of tweezers or forceps and remove with a slow, steady pull. Be careful to remove the entire tick including the mouthparts. Clean the bite area and save the tick in a container for proper identification.

  4. If ticks are seen regularly in your yard, keep your lawn mowed close and remove any debris or ground cover. Keep bird feeders at the far edge of the yard to discourage rodents.

While you can help in tick prevention, a professional tick control program is always recommended in protecting your family and pets from any tick-borne diseases. American Pest’s Integrated Tick Management Program is very effective in reducing tick populations.

 

 






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