As the weather continues to heat up, more and more people will be spending time outdoors in their leisure time. The warmer weather frequently brings people out to wooded areas, which in turn, brings them in closer proximity to ticks. Ticks commonly found in New Jersey and Bucks County Pennsylvania include the Deer Tick, American Dog Tick, Brown Dog Tick, and the Lone Star tick. While not all do, almost all ticks in New Jersey are capable of spreading disease. Diseases transmitted by these ticks that are typically cleared up with timely medical attention, include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Tularemia.
The Powassan virus has been making headlines since it is relatively new and potentially life threatening. While most cases have been reported in parts of the northeastern U.S. and around the great lakes, in 2013 a New Jersey woman contracted the Powasson Virus at her home in Warren County. While the virus has similar symptoms to Lyme disease, it is said to be much worse and without a cure. Symptoms occur very suddenly, sometimes within minutes of being bitten, and include:
- High fever
- Stiff neck
- Loss of coordination
- Speech difficulties
To protect yourself from ticks when outside in wooded areas, wear light-colored pants and long-sleeved shirts. Also, remember to use bug spray with DEET, avoid wooded areas if possible, walk in the center of hiking paths, and avoid walking through leaf litter. You should definitely check for ticks after extended periods of time outside and look into tick preventatives for outdoor dogs and cats.
To learn how to prevent and eliminate ticks at your NJ or PA home, please click here to learn about Cooper’s guaranteed tick service.