Ticks are arthropods that can be as small as a single poppy seed. They feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, such as deer, dogs, cats, and humans. When they bite, their mandibles enter the skin and may be tough to remove. Once engorged with blood, these pests remove themselves from their hosts and drop off.
What Do Tick Bites Look Like?
Often appearing as circular spots in shades of red and pink, bite marks show up where the tick embedded itself. In some cases, a tick bite infection may occur. Signs include skin that’s warm or hot to the touch, swelling, and redness that spreads throughout the area.
Do Tick Bites Itch?
Sometimes these bites do itch, but this depends on the individual’s tolerance to their saliva. Most irritation occurs after the pest falls off of its victim, and sometimes there is little to no tick bite reaction. However, many people experience pain, swelling, blisters, a burning sensation, and in rare instances, paralysis.
Diseases Spread by Tick Bites
A tick can transmit several diseases, including Lyme disease. Many other tick-borne illnesses are less common, but there have been cases reported in New England. Examples include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis.
The possible symptoms depend on the condition. For example, Lyme disease often leaves behind a distinctive bullseye mark, while Rocky Mountain spotted fever causes a pink rash on your hands or feet. General signs to watch for are headache, nausea, muscle weakness, joint discomfort, high temperature, and chills.
Preventing Tick Bites
These pests tend to live in wooded areas, as well as in patches of tall grass and weeds. When walking in these locations, wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants to limit your exposure. Inspect yourself, children, and pets regularly, and treat cats and dogs with a flea and tick preventative.
What to Do About Ticks
If you find a tick, grasp it as close to the skin as possible with tweezers and firmly pull it off in one swift motion. Save the tick in a container so that doctors can test it if you become sick. If you’re concerned about having ticks in your home or business, call Waltham Pest Services and speak with a professional today.