Tick Bites: Learn the Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

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Tick Bites: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

More often than not, bug bites are little more than an annoyance. Maybe you notice a mosquito bite, or see an ant crawling up your leg and feel a painful twinge before you manage to brush it off. Either way, the worst case scenario with most bug bites is some redness, a bit of itching, and some mild discomfort.


When you’re talking about tick bites, though, it’s a whole different story. Ticks carry a number of diseases, and some of them are particularly dangerous. That’s why it’s important to know whether a bug bite is caused by a tick, or by a more benign insect.

But what exactly do tick bites look like? How can you tell if you’ve been bitten by a tick? And if you do have one or more tick bites, what are your treatment options?

At the end of the day, the best way to deal with tick bites is to avoid them in the first place with proper tick control. This can involve tick treatment from a professional pest control company if you have a large number of ticks in the vicinity of your home. But assuming you suspect that you’ve already been bitten, you’ll want to know for certain whether or not it was a tick. Keep reading to find out how.


Identifying Tick Bites

If you’re trying to determine whether or not you’ve been bitten by a tick, there are a few things to consider.

First off, keep in mind that ticks prefer to bite warm, moist areas of the body. This means that while a tick could crawl onto your body anywhere, it will likely head to your groin, hair, or armpits before it bites you.

Unlike most bugs, ticks generally stay attached to the body after biting. That’s because they need to draw blood for food, rather than simply biting as a defense mechanism. Ticks will typically remain attached for a 5-10 days, at which point they’ll detach themselves and fall off.

Tick bites are often painless, and it’s possible to receive a bite without ever noticing that it’s occurred. You may or may not experience mild redness around the area of the bite. Some ticks are so small that they’re hard to see, too, but spotting them is easier once they’ve begun to draw blood.


Symptoms of Tick Bites

If you do find a tick bite, it’s important to look out for potential symptoms that could follow. Keep in mind that not all ticks carry disease, and being bitten by a tick doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically suffer from an infection of some kind.

It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Significant redness around the bite that grows in size
  • Inability to fully remove the tick from the site of the bite
  • Rash
  • Neck stiffness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • General achiness
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Even if these symptoms go away -- for example, if you get a rash and then it disappears -- you may still be suffering from Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or another illness. It’s essential that you see a doctor to be certain.

Some symptoms are more severe than others. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Paralysis
  • Tachycardia
  • Severe headache
  • Weakness in arms or legs


Treatment Options

The treatment for a tick bite will vary considerably based upon the specifics of the tick, the bite, and the symptoms you might be presenting with.

In some cases, tick bite treatment involves simply cleaning the bite area, using some antibiotic ointment, and/or applying an anti-itch cream. In other instances, you may be prescribed oral antibiotics or given IV fluids.

If you’re suffering from Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, or another complication of a tick bite, additional treatments specific to that illness will be prescribed.


How to Avoid Tick Bites: Preventative Measures

If you’re looking to avoid tick bites, there are a few preventative measures to consider:

  • Keep out of tall grasses and densely wooded areas, particularly during tick season
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves, and tuck your pants into your socks or boots
  • Use tick-specific insect repellent
  • Check yourself for ticks immediately after spending time in an area where ticks are likely to be, such as wooded areas or fields


Tick Control

If you’re experiencing a large number of ticks in and around your home, it’s important to take the necessary steps toward proper tick control. Rather than trying to go it alone, contact a tick control professional like Home Pest Control. We can evaluate your individual situation, eliminate ticks that are already present, and then prevent them from returning. Our Home Shield Pest Prevention program addresses all sorts of insect problems in addition to ticks, including fleas, roaches, ants, mosquitoes, and other bugs.

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July 26, 2018

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