What To Do If Bitten By A Tick In St. Louis
September 24, 2021 - Ticks
There are certain pests you just don't expect to be a problem on your St. Louis property, but wild creatures don't care about the expectations of humans. While tick infestations are a bit rarer than others it's not an impossible problem to have. Since they're not particularly strong crawlers and don't possess wings, ticks can't infest areas on their own. With the help of other creatures though, like rodents, birds, dogs, and even humans, they're capable of traveling pretty much anywhere their host takes them, including your very own front lawn.
Troublesome Ticks In The St. Louis Area
Ticks belong to the Arachnida class, along with creatures like spiders, scorpions, and mites. There are three different families of ticks: hard ticks, soft ticks, and monotypic, but monotypic are only found in Africa, and soft ticks are isolated to the western side of the United States. The only ticks you'll find in St. Louis are hard ticks, more specifically Lone Star ticks, Gulf Coast ticks, American dog ticks, and black-legged ticks.
Before feeding, hard ticks range between 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch in size, and are generally reddish to dark brown, though the coloring does depend on the species. They have flat, oval-shaped bodies, eight legs, a hardened dorsal shield, and a mouthpart or proboscis that is more commonly known as the head. They can engorge up to 1/2 of an inch long, which changes their appearance to a blueish-gray spherical shape and significantly decreases their mobility.
It takes them up to seven days to fully engorge, giving them plenty of time to pass on some pretty dangerous diseases, such as:
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Lyme Disease
- Heartland Virus
- Bourbon Virus
The Importance Of Safe Tick Removal & Post-Bite Precautions
Even though tick bites can be dangerous, not all ticks are infected with harmful diseases, and quick, safe removal of a tick can significantly reduce your chances of contracting them. From the moment you're bitten, you have roughly 24-36 hours before anything gets passed along into your bloodstream, but incorrect removal could expedite the transmission process as well. There are many methods to get a tick to remove itself, from suffocation to introducing extreme temperatures, but all of those methods inevitably cause backwash, and that's something you don't want to happen.
To safely remove a tick, take a pair of fine-point tweezers and grasp the tick as close to its buried head as possible. Any higher and you could squeeze fluids back into your bloodstream. With a steady hand and light pressure, slowly remove the tick from your skin without twisting or jerking it to the side. Afterward, apply rubbing alcohol to the bitten area and then thoroughly wash with warm, soapy water.
If you followed all of these steps and caught it in time, there shouldn't be any further complications, but it's best to be aware of your physical health and any possible symptoms in the upcoming weeks, such as:
- Any sort of rash
- Unusual headaches
- Muscle aches and weakness
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms
How To Handle A Tick Infestation On Your St. Louis Property
Most ticks, except for the dog tick, can't survive indoors, but a tick infestation on your lawn is still very much possible. If you're struggling with a tick infestation on your St. Louis property, professional assistance is the best way to get rid of them, and Roberts Pest Control is here to help.
We bring a no-nonsense approach to our treatments and we always use the highest quality pest control products available. We care about the safety of our customers, so we do our best to keep chemicals out of your home while still providing effective, affordable pest control. So get in contact with us for our home pest control or commercial pest management services, and see the difference Roberts can provide for you.