May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and we’re here to give you the facts and our top tips to safeguard your family, pets, home and yard this spring and summer.
It’s estimated that approximately 300,000 people get Lyme disease every year, with only a fraction (30,000 cases) actually reported. So what symptoms should you look out for, and what can you do to stop it?
The most effective precaution you can take is to get your yard sprayed during the spring. With protection that lasts into the fall, you’ll help to keep your family and pets tick-free and protect against Lyme disease.
Rising temperatures this spring create the ideal environment for ticks, who are the prime offender for carrying Lyme. According to the CDC, tick-borne illnesses – with Lyme representing 82% of all cases – are on the rise over the past decade, and the Northeast region of the US has the highest number of reported cases. Since Lyme can cause fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis, it’s important to take every precaution against ticks this season. It takes a tick 24 hours to transmit Lyme after it attaches itself to a human, so always check yourself thoroughly and regularly during the warm months, especially if you spend a substantial amount of time in wooded areas or backyards with taller grass or shrubs.
In addition to the people in your family, it’s important to not forget about your pets too. Rodents and other pests can be infected with Lyme from a tick, so make sure to patch up any holes to keep them out of your home. While thought to initially take longer for a tick to transmit Lyme to an animal, new studies have shown that it can occur in less than 24 hours, and vaccines are not foolproof against all types of Lyme. Your dog may not even show symptoms of Lyme, as symptoms usually don’t appear until two-to-five months after infection. Always check your dogs when they’ve been running through the woods, tall grass, or even just lounging in your backyard (shrubbery can be a great home for ticks). Even acute cases of Lyme include fever, lethargy/reluctance to move, depression, fatigue, anorexia (loss of appetite), pain, swollen lymph nodes, and arthritis.
Staying vigilant about checking your pets and family for ticks is the first line of defense. Contact Mosquito Shield to lock in your service and safeguard your home all season long.