Texas Ticks and Lyme Disease

Although most ticks are found in the Northeast and Upper Midwestern US, Texas has its share of ticks. Let’s start from the beginning:

What are ticks?

According to lymediease.org, ticks are related to the spider, they have eight legs and hatch from an egg. They do not fly, jump or drop out of trees.

Where do ticks hang out?

They can be found in the great outdoors, under leaves, on ground cover, near woodpiles, tall shrubs and places other mammals live.

Why are ticks dangerous?

Ticks carry diseases, a well-known one is Lyme disease. Lyme disease was first identified in Texas in 1984. Lyme can be found in our state and an also be brought in by migrating birds and animals. Lyme can be a chronic debilitating disease to humans.  Although most cases do occur in the upper Midwest and northeastern states, Texas sees dozens of cases each year. This year experts expect a rise in Lyme disease due to a mild winter.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease? 

The symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a bulls-eye type of skin rash (flu-like symptoms and arthritis). If you have any of these symptoms, come see us as soon as the symptoms start. iCare is located in Frisco and South Fort Worth.

Are there any preventive measures? 

Yes, if you’ll be spending time outdoors in tick territory (tall grasses, woods, animals that live outdoors, etc.) spray your clothing with tick repellant especially from your knees down to your shoes. A spray with DEET is recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency. A good scrub with a washcloth at the end of the day can dislodge a tick before it becomes attached. Ticks can roam for 36 hours before finding their new home. Ticks generally like the scalp, behind ears, armpits and the groin area.

What if I find a tick?

Don’t panic. Remove the tick with tweezers, very carefully go under the head of the tick and pull out the mouth of the tick, which is embedded in the skin, according to Dr. Brian Fallon the director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research at Columbia University Medical Center. Keep the tick in a small plastic baggie in case the tick needs to be identified later. If you need help identifying the tick go to www.tickencounter.org