How Do Ticks Get Lyme Disease?

06/24/2017


Ticks    Tips/Solutions   
how do ticks get lyme disease look at deer tick up close

You are probably aware that ticks are not born with Lyme disease. They do not emerge from their egg sacks with this harmful disease that can cause lifelong health complications for humans. Lyme disease is not passed from tick to tick through the breeding process. In fact, ticks don't carry Lyme disease at all. Did you just scratch your head, metaphorically? Don't worry. It will all be clear soon enough. In this article we ask ourselves, how do ticks get Lyme disease in the first place?

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a disease caused by exposure to a bacteria spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi. The primary vector for this bacterium is the black legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) also referred to as a deer tick. It is injected into the tick bite wound as ticks feed.

Ticks are not born with Borrelia burgdorferi. They are not a reservoir for this bacterium. Deer ticks acquire Lyme when they feed on mammals. Once it is in their system, it moves to the salivary glands and is passed to their meals when they feed. Even if  bitten by a tick with Lyme disease, doesn't garauntee that you will get Lyme yourself. So use the below facts to educate yourself on the diease. 

Lyme Disease Facts You Need To Know:

If a tick has fed and contracted this harmful bacterium, it can then bite and infect humans, dogs, and cats. Here are a few points to be aware of, as they pertain to human exposure:

  • It takes more than 24 hours for enough of this bacteria spirochete to transfer from an infected tick and result in Lyme disease. Searching for attached ticks is a vital step in disease prevention. It is also important to carefully remove any ticks found, to prevent squeezing more bacteria from the tick into the bite wound. There are tick removal tools available for this process. If you need help with learning how to remove ticks, check out our step by step tick removal guide here

  • Only 60-80% of Lyme disease cases are accompanied by a bull's eye rash, which is the warning sign most often used to seek treatment. Other symptoms include flu-like symptoms that can develop within 30 days after the tick bite. Additional symptoms include Lyme arthritis, headaches, and more. 

  • Studies show that dogs can be a reservoir for this bacterium. If ticks are brought into a home on a pet, there is an increased chance of human exposure. Make sure that you have a flea and tick protection plan set up for your furry friend to help protect them as well as yourself. 

  • Ticks can enter a home on other wildlife, such as mice and rats. A single field mouse can have as many as 100 deer ticks in its fur. If you have an infestation of rodents, this is a pest problem that should be resolved quickly.

  • Early stages of Lyme disease are treatable. Early detection is key. Learn to recognize the symptoms of chills, fever, fatigue, stiff muscles, headache, joint pain, and swollen glands, and seek medical attention if you believe you have been bitten by a tick.

The most important fact you should be aware of is that the risk of Lyme disease can be reduced through professional pest control measures. If you have more questions, or you would like to set up ongoing pest services for your home or business, reach out to us. American Pest is a leader in the pest control industry of the Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia area. We will help you protect your home and your family from the threat bugs can pose.

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