Lyme Disease was originally concentrated in the Northeast region of the United States, but over the last decade or so has spread quite significantly. Unfortunately, Minneapolis is one of the areas significantly affected by the rapid spread of Lyme Disease. With difficult diagnosis and potential long-term effects, preventing Lyme disease is essential. The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid ticks and tick bites. Read below to learn the symptoms of Lyme and all of the best ways to prevent Lyme disease while still keeping an active outdoor lifestyle.
Lyme disease is a bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted to humans and other mammals by infected ticks. The main vector for the Lyme bacteria in Minneapolis is the black-legged tick, also known as the “deer tick.” On the west coast of the United States, the western black-legged tick is the main Lyme vector.
Deer ticks are quite small, making it hard to detect when one latches on to you. They can attach to any part of your body, but they like to move to warm dark places and often can be found in areas such as the groin, scalp, armpit, and mid-section. In most cases the tick needs to be latched onto you for 36-48 hours before they can transmit Lyme, making it essential to check yourself for ticks after you’ve been in an area where ticks like to hang out. Most human cases of Lyme can be attributed to nymph ticks, which are not full-grown and very difficult to see. They can sometimes be as small as a poppy seed.
One of the most common and first signs of Lyme Disease is a bulls-eye rash at the site of the tick bite. According to the CDC 70-80% of Lyme patients experience a bulls-eye rash. Other symptoms can include chills, fever, headache, fatigue, muscle & joint aches or swollen lymph nodes. Lasting symptoms can occur if Lyme Disease is left untreated and may include severe headaches, neck stiffness, bulls-eye rashes in other areas of the body, arthritis in large joints, Bell’s palsy, episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath, nerve pain, heart palpitations, inflammation of the brain & spinal cord, or problems with short-term memory.
Antibiotics are the appropriate treatment for Lyme Disease. Patients who receive treatment early usually recover quickly & completely. In some cases, a patient may require intravenous antibiotics. If you think you may have Lyme Disease, it is important for you to see your doctor. Early treatment is important for lowering your risk for long-term symptoms.
The best way to protect your family against Lyme Disease is to lower your exposure to deer ticks and tick bites. Mosquito Squad of the Twin-Cities can eliminate 85-90% of the ticks on your property with our Intensive Tick Treatment. A combination of our traditional barrier treatment that eliminates ticks & mosquitoes on contact and tick tubes which kill nymph ticks, our Intensive Tick Treatment is the best method for Minneapolis tick control. Call today to sign up for Intensive Tick Treatment and don’t forget to follow the 6 C’s of tick proofing your yard.
The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District is a great source for local information and current risk levels for Lyme Disease & deer tick activity.