Tick Control Service
From April through October, more people will get tick bites and tickborne diseases than any other time of year in the Virginia. It’s especially important to take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones (including pets) from ticks during this season, as well as any time during warmer months when you’re outside.
Bug Busters Pest Control Services has been serving homeowners and renters in Virginia with tick control since 2005. Ticks are a dangerous species, and should not be ignored.
General Tick Facts
All ticks have eight legs in the adult stage, but have six legs as newly hatched larvae.
Small ticks of all species are called seed ticks, a common name that does not refer to one particular species.
Tickborne diseases are on the rise and prevention should be on everyone’s mind, particularly during the spring, summer, and early-fall when ticks are most active.CDC
Ticks Common in Virginia
Blacklegged (Deer) Tick
- Found primarily in the northern and eastern sections of Virginia
- Potential vector of Lyme disease. In any case of suspected tick transmitted disease, consult with a physician.
- A small tick about 2-3 mm in length with long mouthparts. It is off-white or reddish when fed and has black legs.
Lone Star Tick
- Found predominately east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- Potential carriers of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) and has been implicated in the transmission of ehrlichiosis. In any case of suspected tick transmitted disease, consult with a physician.
- About 5 mm long with short stout mouthparts. It is dark brown with light wavy lines or reticulations on its back.
American Dog Tick
- Found predominately west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- Potential carriers of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). In any case of suspected tick transmitted disease, consult with a physician.
- About 5 mm in length or less with long mouthparts. It is light reddish-brown with a central white spot on the back of most of the adults.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.
If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system and leave person with arthritis and nervous system complications.
A tick need to be attached for 36 hours to transmit the disease. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, where people will experience flu-like symptoms such as nausea, headache, fever, weakness, and general stiffness of the neck joints. About 70% of people will develop an oblong rash, usually 2 or more inches in size, with a clear center that develops at the site of the tick bite. Also, the possibility of exposure to infected ticks is also considered for diagnosis.
Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system and leave person with chronic arthritis and nervous system complications.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a tickborne disease caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. This organism is a cause of potentially fatal human illness in North and South America, and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected tick species.
Typical symptoms include: fever, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, and muscle pain. A rash may also develop, but is often absent in the first few days, and in some patients, never develops. Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be a severe or even fatal illness if not treated in the first few days of symptoms.
A tick only needs to be attached for four to six hours in order to transmit RMSF to its human host. The first symptoms noticed are usually severe headache, chills, fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and other flu-like symptoms. These first symptoms usually start 2 to 12 days after the tick bite. By the third day after the bite, a red rash develops on the wrists and ankles, in most cases, and often spreads to the entire hand or foot.
A blood test is needed to confirm the disease, and early use of antibiotics has a very high rate of cure.