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Protect Your Family and Lawn: Understanding Tick and Mosquito Risks



Here at Wicked Good Lawn Care, we love helping you enjoy the great outdoors with a beautiful, well-maintained lawn. However, spending time outside also means you might encounter pests like ticks and mosquitoes, which can carry harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses. It’s essential to know where these pests are likely to appear, how to prevent bites, and what to do if you’re bitten. After speaking my good friend and ARNP, Rob Swan of Valen Vital Health here are several risks we should consider when we think about protecting ourselves and family members from these pesky and very serious insects.

 

 Risks of Tick and Mosquito Bites

 

Tick-Borne Diseases

Ticks can carry over a dozen diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), and Anaplasmosis. The risks vary by region and the type of tick.

 

Lyme Disease:

Common in the upper Midwest, Northeast, and mid-Atlantic states. Symptoms include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis. If untreated, it can lead to heart, nervous system, and joint problems.


Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF):

Found in states like North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and a rash. RMSF can be fatal if not treated promptly.


Anaplasmosis:

Typically found in the Northeast and upper Midwest. Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, gastrointestinal issues, and severe headaches. Prompt treatment is crucial to avoid severe illness.

 

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Among the 200 mosquito species in the U.S., only 12 spread diseases. After heavy rains or natural disasters, nuisance mosquitoes can become more prevalent, but they don't spread diseases.

 

Sidenote: mosquitos have been the killer of more humans than any war in history combined


West Nile Virus:

The most common mosquito-borne disease in the U.S. Symptoms range from mild (headache, fever, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes, and rash) to severe (encephalitis or meningitis). There's no specific treatment, and recovery from severe cases can take weeks.


Other Diseases: Dengue, chikungunya, and Zika have also been reported in states like Florida, Hawaii, and Texas.

 

 Preventing Tick and Mosquito Bites

 

Educating Yourself and Your Family

Knowing how to prevent bites is the first step. Here are some tips to keep your loved ones safe:

 

Tick Prevention:

Ticks are found in wooded areas, high grass, and leaf litter, particularly in spring, summer, and fall. Keep lawns trimmed and avoid these areas when possible.


side note: I recently had a client tell me he was outside for less than 15 minutes walking alongside his home and found three ticks crawling n his legs and socks. This was just this month which is the inspiration to the blog.


Mosquito Prevention:

Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, especially in warm weather. Remove standing water from your yard to prevent breeding grounds. Change water in birdbaths, fountains, and rain barrels weekly. Avoid touching dead birds as they might carry West Nile virus.

 

Protective Clothing and Repellents

Clothing: Wear hats, light-colored long sleeves, and pants. Tuck pants into socks or boots to prevent tick bites.


Repellents: Use insect repellents containing 20-30% DEET on exposed skin and clothing. Treat clothing and gear with permethrin, which kills ticks on contact.

 

Treating Bites

 

Mosquito Bites

- Wash with soap and water.

- Use ice packs to reduce swelling and itching.

- Apply over-the-counter anti-itch or antihistamine creams.

 

Tick Bites

- Check your skin and clothing daily for ticks.

- If you find a tick, remove it immediately using tweezers. Grasp it close to the skin and pull steadily. Clean the area with soap and water.

- Removing ticks within 24 hours significantly reduces the risk of Lyme disease.

 

When to Seek Medical Attention

 

If you develop symptoms of a vector-borne disease, seek medical attention promptly. Inform your doctor about any tick or mosquito bites and mention that you spend time outdoors.

 

By staying informed and taking these precautions, you can enjoy your beautiful lawn while keeping your family safe from ticks and mosquitoes. If you have any questions or need further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Wicked Good Lawn Care. We're here to help you make the most of your outdoor spaces safely!



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