Tis the SeasonThe month of May can be one of the most enjoyable months of the year. But the milder weather typically brings an onslaught of troublesome pests for Georgia residents to deal with. One pest we often neglect is the tick. Don’t overlook them! These 3 ticks in GA that can cause serious illness and disease.
- Lone Star Tick
- American Dog Tick
- Black-Legged Tick
The American Dog Tick has shorter mouth parts than the Lone Star. Both males and females have distinct white markings on their backs. The most common hosts are dogs, but this tick will feed on almost any large animal, including humans.
The Black-Legged Tick is smaller than the other two ticks and has no white markings on its back. This tick is commonly found on white-tailed deer, birds, dogs, humans and other large mammals as well as rodents.
Ticks Can Spread DiseaseRocky Mountain Spotted Fever The most imperative tick-borne disease in the South is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which is caused by bacteria organisms. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever has a fatality rate of three to five percent, with most cases occurring in children under the age of 15. The symptoms of this disease can be identified by a sudden onset of chills, fever, headache and bloodshot eyes. The disease gets its name the rash that appears two to four days after the fever starts. The rash typically starts on the outer appendages such as the hands and feet and is seen in the form of small, flat, pink spots. This rash will not be itchy but will eventually spread thought the rest of the body.
Lyme Disease Lyme disease first appeared in Georgia in 1987. While cases occur all over the state, cases are found in the northern portion of the state. The black-legged tick is the primary carrier. The initial symptoms of Lyme disease infection is a ring-like swollen rash that appears at the site of the tick bite within three days or so. The rash usually has a bright red outer ring with a lighter center ring. The rash is commonly joined by joint pain and flu-like symptoms. The rash is very helpful for diagnosis; however, it does not develop in all cases. If you develop flu-like symptoms, joint pain or a rash a few days to a month after a tick bite, consult your physician for a diagnosis. Lyme disease is easily treated in the early stages with antibiotics; unfortunately if it is treated later, treatment can be more difficult.