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Ticks are making headlines in North America...and they won't stop being the talk of the town anytime soon.

Lyme Disease, the most common tick-borne illness, is a very dangerous zoonotic disease that can turn life threatening just from a simple tick bite. The more we learn about the tick species and their relation to deer, the more worried we become about the safety of our family members and pets when outside for long periods of time.

tick-disease-pie-chart.jpgFemale ticks like to hide in forests and grassy areas, in shrubs, and on tree limbs in the spring and summer months and survive by feeding on humans, pets and livestock for their next 'blood meal.' It's important to note that a tick does not die in the winter; but instead seeks shelter under leaves to find warmth and security. This is why homeowners should not move logs or firewood too closely to their homes to reduce the risk of a tick infestation.

In 2015, the CDC reported 95% of confirmed (and probable) Lyme Disease cases in 14 U.S. states, particularly in the upper Midwest and Northeast region. This totals about 37,000 confirmed cases in 2015 up from only 11,000 cases in 2001. Are you living in these tick states?

But, in case Lyme wasn't enough of a worry, we now have the added concern of other tick-borne illnesses including the Powassan (Pow) Virus - which can take effect in just 15 minutes - Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (from dog ticks), and the latest tick virus in the news, the Bourbon Virus.

"About 15% of patients who are infected By the Pow Virus, and have symptoms, are not going survive," said Lyons, an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. "Of the survivors, at least 50% will have long-term neurological damage that is not going to resolve."

Symptoms of Lyme Disease are similar to the flu:
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • swollen glands

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/01/Erythema_migrans_-_erythematous_rash_in_Lyme_disease_-_PHIL_9875.jpg/256px-Erythema_migrans_-_erythematous_rash_in_Lyme_disease_-_PHIL_9875.jpgYour dog may have Lyme Disease if he/she has the following:

  • Regurgitation
  • Unsteadiness
  • High blood pressure
  • Fast heart rate and rhythm (tachyarrhythmias)
  • Weakness, especially in the hind limbs
  • Partial loss of muscle movements (paresis)
  • Complete loss of muscle movement (paralysis), commonly seen in advanced disease state
  • Poor reflexes to complete loss of reflex
  • Low muscle tone (hypotonia)
  • Difficulty in eating
  • Disorder of voice (dysphonia)
  • Asphyxia due to respiratory muscle paralysis in severely affected animals
  • Excessive drooling (sialosis)
  • Megaesophagus (enlarged esophagus)
  • Excessive dilatation of pupil in the eye (mydriasis)

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BREAKING NEWS: Chronic Wasting Disease may infect humans, after all. Learn more.

BREAKING NEWS: Woman dies in Missouri from Bourbon Virus. Learn more.

White-tailed deer are the favored hosts of ticks in North America; but wild mice such as the White-Footed Mouse, carry the bacterium that produces Lyme, making rodents an issue. For this reason, tick prevention is not only urgent, but is necessary; and Deerbusters encourages outdoor enthusiasts to do the following when gardening, hiking or camping:

  • Wear bright long-sleeves shirts and pants to easily spot a tick;
  • Apply insect and tick repellents when going outdoors, paying extra attention around the ankles. (Remember, ticks crawl from the ground up; but they do not fly or jump.)
  • Carry a tick removal tool with you in the instance where you need to act quickly, but cautiously.
  • Plant deer-resistance plants in the garden as a deer barrier.

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With over 899 tick species crawling throughout the world, it's difficult not to be alarmed by the tick epidemic in the United States. Our tick tweezers and other tick remover products for sale on Deerbusters.com are recommended for hikers, campers, gardeners and anyone who loves being outdoors. These easy to use tick control products for sale can fit inside a purse, pocket or on a key chain.