Lyme Disease Information

Lyme Disease Information

 

Cause of Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is caused by a bite from a deer tick infected with the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia Burgdorferi.

Deer ticks are very small. The immature (nymph stage) ticks, capable of transmitting Lyme, are the size of a poppy seed. The mature deer tick is still much smaller than more well-known ticks like dog ticks and wood ticks. The mature male is black and the mature female (slightly larger) is dark red and black. They can expand to 2 to 3 times their normal girth when engorged with blood from feeding.

 

Source of the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia Burgdorferi

In the Northeastern U.S. the white-footed field mouse is the origin of the Lyme bacteria. When the deer ticks and their nymphs bite these mice, they become carriers of the Lyme bacteria. After the ticks leave the mice they are transported mainly by deer.

Initial Symptoms

A bite from infected deer ticks leave a "bull's eye" rash on about half of people infected. Other symptoms, usually flu-like in nature include:

  • fatigue
  • slight fever
  • aching muscles
  • swollen glands
  • joint pain
  • chills
  • loss of appetite

These flu-like symptoms will usually last 7 to 10 days. However, the fatigue may last for weeks to several months.

Long-Term Non-Treatment Symptoms

If the initial systems of Lyme disease are missed and it goes untreated, arthritic complications, neurological disorders, and heart abnormalities may develop.

Treatments

If Lyme is determined in the "Initial Symptoms" phase, oral antibiotics will usually take care of the infection. If allowed to progress into the possible long-term symptoms of Lyme disease, 3 weeks or more of strong intravenous antibiotics are necessary.

Active Prevention

When in wooded areas or areas of tall grass, be sure to wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants. Light colored clothing makes the ticks easier to spot. Repellants including 30% or more of DEET sprayed directly on your clothing will also help. Always check yourself and your pets carefully before entering you house or car after being in a wooded area or tall grass.

Proactive Prevention

A fence that excludes deer from a property will prevent one of the main transporter of deer ticks, deer, from carrying them onto a property. As time goes by on a recently fenced property, the ticks in the fenced area will die off and not be replaced.

Several of our customers have reported that within less than a year from first installing our fence, that they noticed significant drops in deer tick populations. This was recently confirmed by an expert in the industry. Dick Gadd, of SCS Limited (a distributor of tick repellents in Stony Point, NY) conducted a detailed comparison for deer tick counts prior to installing our fencing for several years. The tick drag in a particular zone yielded an average of 14 ticks per year, but after the fence was installed it produced only 1 deer tick - a 93% reduction.  

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