Lyme Disease (What You Need To Know)Reading time: 5 minutes
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium named Borrelia. Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by the bites of infected Blacklegged ticks.
How common is Lyme disease?
The number of reported cases has been on a steady rise over the past two decades corresponding to Blacklegged (deer) ticks spreading into new habitats in certain parts of Canada.
Can my pet get Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease can also affect your dogs, cats, cattle and horses.
What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease?
Symptoms begin for 80 % of people by causing a red bullseye-shaped rash where the tick bit, typically a week to 30 days after the bite happened. Usually, these rashes don’t itch.
People may also begin to notice a fever, a feeling of sleepiness and headaches.
More serious long-term effects include pain in the joints, worsening headaches, neck stiffness, heart palpitations, trouble breathing and even effects on the brain and nervous system.
Unfortunately, 10 to 20% of people still experience joint pains, memory problems, and tiredness for long periods even after being treated.
How can I avoid getting sick?
Buzz Boss believes it is important to raise awareness so that we can all take practical measures to protect ourselves.
The best strategy though is prevention! This means making efforts to not get bitten in the first place, such as by wearing light-coloured clothing that covers the arms and legs and using DEET-based insect repellents such as Deep Woods Off.
The BuzzShield Insect program was designed to help control ticks that may be in your yard. During our inspection, we also always provide a BuzzCheck for our customers to help them reduce areas that may be inviting to ticks such as tall grass, overgrown shrubs and leaf litter.
If you find a tick on you or a family member do not panic, but it is important to remove it properly as soon as you find it and send it in for identification. Always check yourself and your pets after hiking outdoors, especially in woody areas and places with tall grass and bushes.
How to remove a tick?
Any ticks you do find can be removed using tweezers.
Grasp as close to the mouthpart as possible, pulling up in a slow steady movement to avoid leaving any pieces of the tick lodged in your skin. Use antiseptic to clean the site.
Do not squeeze the body of the tick or use a match, petroleum jelly or alcohol as this may cause the tick to inject fluid back into the bite, increasing the chances of an infection.
Place the tick(s) in a clean container and send the tick to either a lab, physician or veterinarian so the species can be identified.
More resources on Lyme disease
- Lyme Disease Prevention (Government of Canada)
- Lyme Disease Prevention Brochure (Government of Canada)