By Bob Holzhei
With tick season just a few weeks away, outdoor folks – especially turkey hunters, are preparing to sit their butts down in the woods. It might be good to know about the tick prevention safety guide that has been developed by Brian Anderson, who is from Iron Mountain, MI., known as the Tick Terminator.
“The guide has been used by hundreds of safety directors, outdoor workers and enthusiasts across the country to help them learn and share new prevention ideas in the battle with ticks,” says Anderson.
A follow-up bulletin titled “The Hidden Cost of Lyme Disease” assists readers of the tick season which runs from March through November each year.
What is Lyme Disease?
“Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdolferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of black-legged ticks (deer ticks). Symptoms include headache, brain fog, chills, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, neck stiffness, achy joints, bulls-eye rash including other rashes, facial palsy, heart palpitations, dizziness, vision changes, and sensitivity to light,” stated Anderson.
If left untreated the disease can spread to joints, heart and the nervous system. It is estimated that the disease results in 300-400,000 new cases each year.
Early detection and treatment are important. If diagnosed soon enough, within a few weeks of a bite, antibiotic treatment by an MD will be sufficient to combat the disease. Allowing the disease to go untreated for months will lead to a chronic condition. Many doctors treat patients early with antibiotics to be safe. Lyme disease can take months in the body to show up positive on a test.
Where Does Lyme Disease Come From?
Ticks get Lyme disease by feeding on an infected animal, often a mouse or rodent, which is then passed on to the next host. Using good repellants and checking for tick bites during the season is advised.
The Hidden Costs of Lyme Disease
The person infected with Lyme disease enjoys a normal active life. Then suddenly overnight they become exhausted, can barely make it through a day of work, and can’t wait to get home to rest. Often folks feel it’s just a temporary bug, which will pass. Lyme disease is nicknamed, “the great imitator,” and the medical costs continue to rise.
“Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not recognize the disease, and therefore will not pay for it,” added Anderson.
Where Are Ticks Found?
Ticks are found in tall grasses and low-lying shrubs, preferring moist shaded areas. They don’t jump, fly or fall out of trees. They wait patiently to smell the odor of an animal or human walking by. They then latch on and enjoy a 2–4-day, blood meal. When temperatures rise above 32 degrees or warmer, the tick season has begun. Ticks do not die off during the winter. The small younger nymph ticks are the size of a poppy seed and are responsible for most Lyme disease cases. See the photo.
Preventing Lyme Disease
The use of Deet on the skin and Permethrin on clothes and gear was suggested by Anderson.
- Tuck in your pants into the socks!
- Wear light-colored pants to easily spot ticks!
- Walk on well-used paths and stay away from vegetation!
- Use 25-34% Deet on the skin.
- Treat shoes, socks, pants, and shirts with Permethrin.
After the Bite
Quick medical attention is advised by a physician that knows about tick-borne diseases. The disease can be treated with antibiotics. Early detection and treatment are stressed!
“If you keep the ticks off of you, you won’t get bit,” concluded Anderson.
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