Everyone knows to avoid fleas and ticks. Their bites turn red and cause severe itching. But their effects go far beyond that. These tiny insects can also be hosts for many big diseases. That’s why it’s so important to consider bug spraying here in the New England area. Unfortunately, we are the epicenter of the ongoing Lyme disease outbreak.
Flea And Tick Diseases You Can Prevent With Professional Bug Spraying
Flea-borne (murine) Typhus
Flea-borne (murine) typhus is caused by the bacteria Rickettsia Typhi. Flea-borne typhus occurs when flea poop, also called flea dirt, gets in an open wound created by the flea’s bite – not from saliva in the bite. Humans can also contract this disease if they breathe in flea dirt or rub it into their eyes. Fortunately, flea-borne typhus can not be spread from person to person. It’s typically rare in the US, but it could become more common as the climate worsens. While the most severe form of the illness is rare, it’s not worth tempting fate. By electing to have pest control as part of your lawn care services, you won’t risk damaging major organs like the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, and brain. Generally, symptoms may include:
- Fever and chills
- Body aches and muscle pain
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Rash (typically occurs around day 5 of illness)
Tapeworm should be a concern if you have pets and/or children. Pets become infected by swallowing a flea infected with the tapeworm larvae. This often happens when an infected flea bites your pet, and your pet bites at the site to relieve the itching, during which time they may swallow the flea. Once the flea is digested, the larval tapeworm will develop into an adult tapeworm in the digestive tract of your pet. The adult worms form bodies that have segments to break off into the digestive tract and pass during bowel movements. These segments, called proglottids, contain eggs so the worms can release their young into the environment. While adults are always at risk, the main concern is young children and pets because they are the most likely to put things in their mouths. Signs of tapeworms in pets and humans include objects that look like rice in the stool.
Tularemia is a disease that can infect animals and people. Rabbits, hares, and rodents are especially susceptible, and we have plenty of wild rodents in New England. While tick bites are one of the leading causes, humans can also contract this disease through skin contact with infected animals, drinking contaminated water, or inhaling agriculture or landscaping dust that contains the bacteria. This disease can range from mild symptoms to life-threatening complications. Regardless of a mild or severe form of the illness, all patients will develop a fever. Typically, tularemia produces a skin ulcer at the site where the bacteria entered the body. Further, patients will notice swelling of lymph glands, usually in the armpit or groin. If left untreated, the bacteria can travel through the bloodstream to the lungs.
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. This bacterial infection is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Contrary to popular belief, not all ticks can transmit Lyme disease, but why take an unnecessary risk? Without treatment, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. It’s possible that you could be stuck with a chronic condition for life that will flare up from time to time. Fortunately, most Lyme disease cases can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
- Muscle and joint aches
- Swollen lymph nodes may occur in the absence of rash
- A bullseye red ring around the bite that spreads.
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness
- Additional rashes on other areas of the body
- Facial palsy
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints
- Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- Irregular heartbeat or palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
- Shooting pain, numbness, or tingling of hands and feet
How To Protect Yourself From Lyme Disease
And Other Insect-borne Illnesses
While there may be a vaccine or other medication that prevents Lyme disease and other severe illnesses in the future, there is currently no such substance. The only surefire way to protect yourself, your family, pets, and guests from flea or tick-borne diseases is through a professional pest control spray. This will eliminate fleas and ticks from the eggs to adults. You may think you’re safe if you stay away from wooded areas, but fleas and ticks lurk in places like the undersides of decks and porches, tall grass, and even playscapes. As the old saying goes: it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Find Pest Control Services In Rhode Island
Don’t put yourself or your family at risk of catching harmful, even deadly diseases. Call the experts at 4everGreen Turf Management. We have over 50 years of experience helping homeowners in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and southern Massachusetts eradicate fleas and ticks from their yards. Our pest control program will stop bugs in their tracks – no matter which part of the life cycle they’re currently in. To learn more or schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 401-398-8850, or you can contact us online.
Don’t forget to stop by our blog page next month for more helpful articles on lawn care services and pest control topics!