What is Lyme Disease and how do I protect myself from ticks?

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium and is carried by infected black-legged ticks. It can be a chronic debilitating disease of humans. Initial symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and skin rash. Left undiagnosed and untreated, the disease can spread to the heart, joints and the nervous system. The blacklegged tick or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis spreads the disease in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central United States. The western blacklegged tick Ixodes pacificus spreads

Integrated Pest Management for Ticks

Tick on leaf

Ticks are small arachnids in the order Parasitiformes. Along with mites, they constitute the subclass Acarina. Ticks are ectoparasites (external parasites), living on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. Ticks are vectors of a number of diseases, including Lyme disease, Colorado tick fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, African tick bite fever, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, tularemia, tick-borne relapsing fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and tick-borne meningoencephalitis, as well as bovine anaplasmosis and probably the Heartland virus.

Tick Prevention

Introduction

Brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus

Brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus

When a tick feeds it takes up whole blood, extracts the
water (about 70-75% volume) and injects the water back
into the host. For this reason, they are efficient vectors
of a variety of disease causing organisms such as bacteria,
spirochetes, rickettsiae, protozoa, viruses, nematodes,
and toxins. A single tick bite can transmit multiple pathogens
as well as creating secondary infections and allergic
reactions. Ticks therefore are the most common transmitters
of vector-borne disease