Ticks are small but surprisingly durable. They can’t fly or jump, only walk. But, they are capable of waiting for days on a piece of grass until someone walks by and they instantly climb onboard.
Ticks will then look for a spot where the skin is thinner before inserting a feeding tube and holding itself in position with pincers. The tick will then suck blood for 2-3 days until it is engorged, it will then drop off.
While feeding, the tick secrets saliva which acts as an anaesthetic. That stops you from noticing their presence. Unfortunately, if the tick is carrying any diseases, these will be transmitted to you through their saliva which enters your body.
You’ll generally pick ticks up in long grass. But, if you start noticing a lot of them at home, you’ll want to call the exterminators and eliminate them as quickly as possible.
Ticks can carry an array of diseases. These include:
Lyme disease is generally transmitted by black-legged ticks. It is one of the most common diseases transmitted by ticks and, if left untreated, it can cause heart and nervous system issues.
The most common symptoms attached to Lyme disease are:
- Aching muscles
- Skin rash
If you’ve been bitten by a tick and start displaying the above, see your doctor as soon as possible.
Rickettsiosis is more common in Europe than in other parts of the world but it is still a risk. This disease isn’t just transmitted by ticks. You can also contract it from fleas, lice, and even mites.
This disease has similar symptoms to Lyme disease:
- Rash – usually on your trunk or your extremities
- Aching muscles
It’s worth noting that the rash from rickettsiosis is different to the one you get when you have Lyme disease. The difference is one of the easiest ways to tell which disease you have contracted.
You are also likely to have enlarged lymph nodes. Again, if this is left untreated it can damage your organs, including your brain. The best treatment option is antibiotics.
Tularemia is rare and mainly affects animals such as rabbits, hares, and even rodents. However, it can infect almost any living creature, including your pets and you.
This disease is very contagious which means you’ll need to take precautions if you are diagnosed with it. It can be fatal although this is rare thanks to modern medical advancements.
If you’ve been bitten by a tick carrying tularemia then you’ll start to become ill within 3-5 days. However, it should be noted that it can take as long as 21 days for the symptoms to show themselves. You are likely to show the following:
- Skin ulcer where you have been bitten
- Enlarged lymph nodes, will be painful
- Fever & chills
- Extensive fatigue
You’ll need medical treatment quickly, including a course of antibiotics.
If you’re heading out into long grass or anywhere there could be ticks, you need to make sure that you wear tick repellent and, ideally, keep your skin covered; It will reduce the likelihood of you being bitten by a tick.