Summertime brings more outdoor activities like camping and hiking, but the warm weather also invites ticks and other unfriendly pests that can carry harmful diseases.
What ticks are near me and what diseases can they cause?
Ticks are small arachnids that feed off the blood of a human or an animal. Missouri is home to many tick species, but the most common include the lone star tick, the American dog tick and the black-legged tick.
These tiny vampires can carry diseases like the Heartland virus and the Bourbon virus. More common bacterial infections include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can cause fever, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting and muscle pain. The infection can be fatal if not treated properly. Another well-known bacterial infection is Lyme disease, which can cause fever, chills, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and joint aches. In most cases, the tick must be attached to its host for over 24 hours to be able to transmit the bacteria – so ticks need to be properly removed as soon as possible.