Ticks are carriers of the organism that causes Lyme disease. This organism known as Borrelia burgdorferi or Borrelia mayonii can be introduced into the bloodstream after a tick bite thereby causing the disease. While there is a lot of confusion over which species of tick carries the disease, it is clear that only one species carries it. Lyme disease is usually transmitted by the bite of a deer tick. The deer tick is also known as the black-legged tick. A pest control company will be able to help you identify a deer tick.
Early Symptoms of Lyme Disease
A tick bite looks like a mosquito bite, as it is usually a small red bump. The symptoms of Lyme disease occur within three days to a month after the bite. Some of the early symptoms of the disease are rash, fever, chills, fatigue, headache, neck stiffness, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Later symptoms include erythema migrans, joint pain as well as neurological problems. In the later periods, rashes will appear on other areas of your body asides from the bite area. You are also likely to suffer joint pains and swelling that will affect your knees.
What To Do After A Tick Bite
It is important to note that ticks transmit this infection only after they are taking a blood meal from the host, after attaching themselves. This means that a tick that has not been attached cannot pass any infection to the host. If you or someone close to you has been bitten by a tick, it is important to act fast and remove the tick quickly. Below are steps to follow in order to take the tick out properly:
- Get a pair of pointed tweezers to take out the tick
- Use the pointed tweezers to grasp the mouth of the tick inserted into the skin. Be sure to grasp its tight, in order to avoid breaking it inside the skin.
- Pull the tick out of the host’s skin steadily. Avoid twisting as this can break part of the tick in the skin.
- Make sure to pull the tick out steadily without doing it sharply. Pulling back sharply will leave part of the mouth embedded in the skin.
- Be careful to not crush the body of the tick while pulling. This will release infected body fluids into the body of the host.
- Avoid applying substances on the tick while it is still in the skin of the host. Substances like nail polish and petroleum jelly will trigger it to release infected fluid into the body.
- After getting the tick out, wash the bite site with soap and water before applying antiseptic to disinfect. Ensure to wash your hands as well.
- Do not start any medications after the bite.
- Monitor the bite site for two weeks to see any signs of red rash or flu.
In order to determine the type of tick that you were bitten by, you can send the dead tick to a healthcare laboratory for identification. If you live in an area that has lots of ticks, it is best to contact an exterminator.