What Diseases Do Ticks Carry? 

Serving Orange, Seminole, Lake, & Volusia Counties

tick waiting on a green leaf in a Florida forest

Ticks carry and spread several diseases to humans and animals. They’re not common, but because these illnesses come with serious symptoms, it’s important to know about them. These diseases to watch out for include:

  • Lyme Disease 
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)
  • Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI)
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Babesiosis

The victims of these diseases typically get them from being outside, especially from hikes. And you may not even know you have a tick on yourself or one of your pets until you come home. 

Tick Diseases to Watch Out For

The Black-legged tick is the usual culprit for tick-borne illnesses in Florida. If you’re unlucky enough to get a tick-borne disease, you’ll typically have symptoms of fever, rash, fatigue, and body aches. So it’s good to know these diseases and where they come from:

Lyme Disease 

Lyme disease is a serious illness caused by the spirochete bacteria from ticks. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics if you attend to it within a few weeks of infection. But if you leave the infection untreated, it can spread to your joints, heart, and nervous system. Flu-like symptoms usually start up to a few weeks after you’ve been bitten by a tick. Later-stage symptoms might not appear until months, or even years, after a tick bite.

Symptoms: “Bull’s eye” rash, fatigue, chills, fever, lightheadedness, headache, muscle pain, and a stiff neck.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is considered one of the deadliest tick-borne diseases.

Which spreads more in the summer months. According to the CDC, “Since July 2023, five patients have been diagnosed with RMSF, including three deaths.”

Unlike other tick-borne diseases, the main transmitter in Florida is the American dog tick. If you’re infected, A rash may appear at least two to five days after symptoms begin.

Symptoms: Red-spotted rash, fever, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, and lack of appetite. 

Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI)

STARI is a disease transmitted by the lone star tick, one of the most common ticks in Florida. It’s Lyme disease-like, but has some differences. With STARI, chronic symptoms (e.g., arthritis, neurological symptoms) likely won’t occur. A “bull’s eye”-like rash can appear about seven days after the tick bite. The rash expands outward from the tick bite site, with a central area of clear skin. 

Symptoms: “Bull’s eye” rash, fatigue, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and erythema migraines. 

Ehrlichiosis

Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis (HME), or Ehrlichiosis for short, is an illness caused by the pathogen Ehrlichia chaffeensis from ticks. Ehrlichiosis is a bacterial infection transmitted from the lone star tick, one of the most commonly encountered ticks in the southeastern U.S. Symptoms typically appear ten days after a tick bite. 

Symptoms: Petechial rash (fine pinhead-sized areas of bleeding into the skin), fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and diarrhea. 

Anaplasmosis

Similar to Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis is a bacterial illness you get from ticks. Ticks transmit bacteria, which causes flu-like symptoms.

Symptoms: Headache, muscle aches, fever, chills, and malaise (general discomfort).

Babesiosis

Although less common than other tick-borne diseases, Babesiosis is still something to look out for. Symptoms of Babesiosis can sometimes be asymptomatic, but typically appear one to four weeks after a tick bite.

Symptoms: Fever, headache, jaundice (yellowish skin or eyes), pale skin, chills, and muscle weakness.

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How Do You Prevent Tick Diseases?

The best, and most obvious way to prevent tick diseases is to avoid ticks. You, your loved ones, and your pets should proceed with caution wherever they thrive, which includes brush, tall grass, and your yard.

For more information on preventing ticks in your yard, check out our article here

Completely avoiding ticks may be possible, but not always guaranteed. Keep the following general tips in mind to avoid ticks, and their diseases, from getting on you or your loved ones (including pets):

  • Consistently check yourself and others for ticks (body and clothing).
  • Keep clothing buttoned and tucked in.
  • Avoid touching plants in tick-infested areas.
  • Wear light-colored clothing (to easily spot ticks).
  • Clear any brush along pathways.
  • Apply tick repellent.
  • Walk in the center of a trail (when hiking).
  • Remove ticks from pets and people as soon as they notice them.
  • Shower right after being outdoors.
  • Hire a tick control company.

Your best bet to avoid ticks in your house is professional pest control. Pest control is optimal for reducing tick populations and preventing future infestations. We at Forest Pest Control know about ticks and their diseases all too well!

Dealing with biting pests? Learn how our all-in-one service package can protect you from vector-borne illnesses!

Why Hire Us for Tick Control in Florida?

Ticks are creepy, scary, and carry deadly diseases. We care about you and your loved ones not getting sick. You should do your due diligence to avoid ticks – but bringing on tick pest control is the best way to prevent tick infestations.

At Forest Pest Control, we know all about ticks and how to prevent them from invading your home. We’ve been around for 33 years, helping those in Central Florida reduce ticks in and around their houses.

Contact us today and get an instant service quote!

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What Diseases Do Ticks Carry?  in Central Florida

Serving Orange, Lake, Seminole, and Volusia Counties

Orlando | Windermere | Dr. Phillips | Winter Park | Longwood | Lake Mary | Winter Springs | Oviedo | Altamonte Springs | Apopka | DeBary

DeLand | Orange City | Celebration | Kissimmee | Heathrow | Sanford | Winter Garden | Clermont | Ocoee | Leesburg | Sorrento

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