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The Dangers of South Carolina Ticks

Common Ticks In Our Region & The Threats They Pose

There are few people who are not put off by finding a tick inside their home. Ticks are creepy, but not only are they creepy, they also spread human pathogens! Let’s take a look at some of the common ticks we have in our area and the disease threats you can expect from them.

Blacklegged Tick

Also called deer ticks, blacklegged ticks have become the most prominent ticks in the Eastern United States for their connection with Lyme disease. Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia miyamotoi that passes from the gut of an infected tick through their salivary glands to their human host while they feed. This transfer can take as long as 48 hours or as little as 24 hours. Lyme disease is often associated with a red, bullseye rash, though this rash doesn’t always occur.

Brown Dog Tick

While brown dog ticks prefer to feed on canines, they will also feed on humans. The prominent disease linked to these ticks is Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This disease is a bacterial infection that can lead to serious injury, even to the point of shutting down of internal organs such as the kidneys and heart. As its name suggests, this disease is associated with a spotted rash. You may also experience the following symptoms: fever, muscle aches, headache, chills, nausea, vomiting, or neurological issues.

Lone Star Tick

This tick is growing in notoriety for its connection with a disease that shares some similarities with Lyme disease. The disease these ticks are known for is called Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI) which is caused by the spirochete Borrelia lonestari. If not treated early enough, this disease can lead to a meat allergy that can result in symptoms ranging from extremely itchy skin to anaphylactic shock when red meat is consumed. Recent studies are revealing that this meat allergy is an allergic reaction to a carbohydrate called galactose-alpha-1, 3-galactose, commonly known as alpha-gal, which is found in most mammalian cell membranes. Non-mammalian meats such as poultry and seafood are safe for individuals with this allergy to eat.   

American Dog Tick

While quite different from brown dog ticks, these ticks share one very important commonality; they are able to spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever. However, it is not the only disease these ticks can spread.

General Tick Disease

The diseases listed above are the specific threats these ticks are known to present, but there are some diseases that are common among all ticks such as encephalitis, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis. There are also many tick-borne diseases that aren’t as commonly known but are still quite serious such as tick paralysis, Colorado tick fever, erythema chronicum migrans, tularemia, and more. The goal of this article is not to give a detailed description of every single tick-borne disease, but to give scope to the problem. Ticks are a threat we should all be aware of!

DIY Tick Control

Ticks can find their way inside our homes in many different ways. They can crawl onto your cat or dog as they roam your property. They can latch onto your children as they play out in the yard. Ticks can even hitch a ride into our homes on invading rodent and wildlife pests. This makes it very difficult to keep them out. So while taking preventative measures like using flea collars or veterinarian-prescribed tick products to your pets and using insect repellent when spending time outdoors is a start, it won’t completely prevent problems with these pests.
At Spencer Pest Services, we bundle our Outdoor Flea & Tick Control with our Outdoor Living Package. This package provides homeowners in our South Carolina service area with the coverage for over 20 common household pests, protection from subterranean termites, and control services for ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and fire ants. If you live outside of our service area, we highly recommend finding a pest control package like this one. In our area, pests are most than just a nuisance. They can cause significant property damage and spread diseases, some of which can cause lifelong health complications. Get protected with ongoing pest control service from a trusted pest control provider!
If you live in Greenville, Sapphire, or the surrounding area, take a look at our residential pest control page or contact us at Spencer Pest Services to learn more about how we manage the many pests we have here in South Carolina!