Different Ticks and Tick Bites Ticks are considered as the primary transmitters of diseases to people living in the United States. While generally speaking, tick bites often do not develop complications, it is nonetheless important to know what these diseases are and the types of ticks that carry each specific disease. This way, you will know what to do in the event that you or any of your loved ones do get bitten by a tick. Ticks and Bites There are several types of ticks but the most common ones known to carry diseases are deer ticks or black-legged ticks, American dog ticks, a variety of other hard tick species and soft ticks. Black-legged ticks or deer ticks are carriers of lyme disease. American dog ticks on the other hand, are known carriers of the disease referred to as the Rocky Mountain spotted fever; while Colorado tick fever is caused by a bite from a type of hard tick called wood tick. Another type of hard tick known as lone star tick meanwhile is a known carrier of a specific type of bacteria that cause Ehrlichiosis, a condition that is likened to Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The African tick, a type of soft tick, is a carrier of a type of bacteria that cause relapsing fever. Symptoms for these diseases do not usually manifest until after several days from the day the host was fed on by the tick. Sometime, the incubation may be longer as with lyme disease where symptoms may only begin to manifest from two weeks up to several months after the host was bitten. Common Symptoms of Tick Bites The first symptom that commonly appears after a person has been bitten is a red mark or spot. The redness as well as the size of the spot may differ depending on which type of tick fed on the host. Sometimes, the spot is more pronounced than others such as when one has been bitten by a black-legged tick where the red spot is enclosed in a larger reddish circle. The mark appears like a “bull’s eye target.” Other common symptoms are itching, fever and burning sensation on the affected area of the body. In cases where infection was left untreated, malaise may also be experienced. Antibiotics are often prescribed by doctors to treat the infection.
Preventing Tick Bites You can avoid being bitten by ticks, especially those known to live in wooded and bushy areas, by wearing protective clothing before going to these places. Long pants, socks, boots, long-sleeved shirts and even gloves are recommended. You can also rub on some insect repellent on your arms, legs and neck before going to areas where ticks may be present. Note: Wear clothes that are light-colored so you can readily see if ticks have attached themselves on your clothes.