Lyme Disease Facts For New Jersey Residents
Chances are if you live in New Jersey and spend any amount of time hiking in the woods or even hanging out in your backyard, you’ve encountered a tick or found one embedded in your skin. Hopefully you’ve not been exposed to or been diagnosed with Lyme disease but again there’s a good chance you have. According to the New Jersey State Health Assessment Data website, the incidence of Lyme disease increased from 36.1 cases per 100,000 in 2007 to 40.8 in 2019.
Since deer ticks are already active in New Jersey and May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, we thought it appropriate to share information about this tick-borne illness and offer advice on how to protect your family and pets from it.
5 Facts About Lyme Disease
Lyme is often misdiagnosed
Lyme isn’t called the “Great Imitator” for no reason. Unfortunately, its symptoms mimic many other diseases and can affect the whole body including the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, and the heart. Lyme patients are often misdiagnosed with:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzehimer’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Depression and other psychiatric diagnoses
Unfortunately, a misdiagnosis can lead to the delay of treatment and the bacterial infection and accompanying symptoms of the disease may worsen.
Average time for patient diagnosis is two years
While the average time for patient diagnosis is two years and takes likely more than five doctors’ visits, the sad fact is that many people live with Lyme for years without knowing. Extreme PMS, joint pain, poor sleep, and mood problems are often symptoms that can be explained away by stress, age, and other health conditions.
The classic bulls-eye rash doesn’t always present
When polled, only a minority of people with Lyme disease remember a bulls-eye rash. What’s more, the Mayo Clinic website states that only 50% to 70% of patients recall a tick bite.
There is no approved vaccine against Lyme disease
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH), there is no vaccine for Lyme disease for humans available in the United States yet. There are vaccines available to protect dogs against Lyme but not cats. For more information on how to protect your pets against Lyme (because they can get it too), contact your veterinarian.
It’s prime tick season in New Jersey
Just last month, we reported that ticks were already active in New Jersey. Now the tick population in the Garden State is exploding. If you haven’t already, now is the time to kick your tick checking efforts into hyper mode. More on this in a just a minute.
How Can I Protect My Family From Ticks & Lyme Disease
To protect your family from tick bites and the risk of Lyme disease, we recommend the following prevention tips:
- Always, always, always check yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks after spending any amount of time outdoors. Hot spots include armpits, behind the knees, the buttocks, behind ears, and any area covered in hair.
- Stay on clear trails when hiking and do not stray off the path into tall grasses and wooded areas where ticks are prevalent.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants tucked into socks, and other clothing treated with repellent when exploring New Jersey.
- Finally, we highly recommend treating your property for ticks so you can worry less about your family’s exposure to these dangerous pests.
Seasonal Mosquito & Tick Control
Arrow’s mosquito and tick reduction program, Bite Back!, is the ideal solution for property owners who want to enjoy their outdoor living space without constantly fearing ticks. It consists of granular tick treatments in April and October and monthly mosquito and tick misting treatments May through September. That’s a total of seven treatments or a whole season of protection!
Currently servicing Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Somerset, Ocean, and Union counties, Arrow Pest Control is ready to help New Jersey property owners guard against ticks; contact us today!
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