Ashley Olsen has been getting a lot of attention in recent days but not for the reasons you might suspect. Nope, the actress, who along with her sister, played little Michelle on Full House, is not making headlines for any acting role. Rather her battle with Lyme disease has stolen the limelight.
Lyme disease is a very serious illness that, if not treated early like in Ashley’s case, can cause severe problems. According to lymedisease.org, patients may develop problems with the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, heart and circulation, digestion, reproductive system, and skin weeks, months or even years later. Unfortunately Ashley is not alone in her diagnosis, the CDC says that approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported every year but that the number does not account for all the occurrences in the US.
Now if you’re wondering why a pest control company is blogging about Lyme, the answer lies in ticks. Yes, the bite of an infected deer tick is how Lyme disease is spread to people, pets and wildlife. Here in Georgia the deer tick is the primary vector of lyme disease. Before you panic and shut your family indoors, it is important to point out that not all tick bites will transmit the illness. So how do you protect your family and still enjoy the warm Georgia summer? Here are a few tick prevention tips that will help:
Avoid areas where ticks are likely to be lurking. This includes tall grasses, bushes and transitional areas where manicured lawns meet overgrowth. Ticks will also crawl up to higher points to drop down onto a host so for that reason, don’t lean up against a tree.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. We realize this seems like some sort of cruel joke but if you are spending time outside, you skip the tees, shorts and sandals and don clothing that makes it hard for ticks to find skin.
Always check for ticks. After spending any time outdoors, make sure you check yourself, family members and pets for ticks.
Treat your property. Ticks are impossible to fully prevent but McCall Service offers tick control services in Savannah and throughout our Georgia service area that will reduce the number of ticks on your property.
What should you do if you discover a tick? The Georgia Department of Health has this to say about removing ticks: “grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible with fine-tipped tweezers. Pull the tick straight out slowly. Wash and treat the bite area with a disinfectant.”
If you have been bit by a tick, be vigilant in monitoring for symptoms of Lyme disease. Early symptoms may include:
A bull’s-eye rash (or any kind of rash)
Muscle aches and/or joint pain
Nausea and other flu-like symptoms