Common Tick Diseases and Pest Control in Massachusetts

Of all the tick diseases in Massachusetts, Lyme, and Powassan are the most serious. However, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is also extremely dangerous. Fortunately, it is not prevalent in Massachusetts.

Still, this brief list of common tick diseases (there are others) can wreck your life in moments.
Be conscious of your surroundings at all times and safeguard your property with Safer Nature pest control. This decision could be one of the most important ones you make in this lifetime.

1. Anaplasmosis

Cause: Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

Common sources: Infected black-legged tick (deer tick) and the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus).

Symptoms of tick diseases: Anaplasmosis bacteria symptoms may include a rash, fever, muscle pains, cold and hot chills, headaches, and fatigue.

Severe cases: These bacteria can catalyze multiple organ failures, including the respiratory and renal systems.

Affects: People and domestic animals like dogs and livestock.

Typical treatment: Antibiotics like doxycycline.

Vaccine: No vaccine is available for Anaplasmosis at the time of writing this article.

2.Babesiosis microti

Cause: Microscopic Babesia microti parasites and others.

Common source: Infected black-legged ticks.

Symptoms of tick diseases: This is one of the black-legged tick diseases affecting red blood cells. It mimics flu and Lyme disease, so the symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches and pains, and headaches.

Severe cases: Severe infections can warrant hospitalization. The patient may also need a blood transfusion.

Affects: People and other vertebrates. Canine babesiosis is also a brown dog tick disease.

Typical treatment: A few weeks of antiparasitic medications like atovaquone and azithromycin may be necessary. These infections can be life-threatening for people with weak immune systems, the elderly, and those without a spleen.

Vaccine: No vaccine is available for Babesiosis microti and other Babesia species.

3. Borrelia miyamotoi

Cause: Borrelia miyamotoi – similar to tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) and Lyme-causing spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi.

Common sources: Infected black-legged and western black-legged ticks.

Symptoms of tick diseases: The symptoms are similar to Lyme disease and include a rash, fever, headaches, and neck pain. After a few weeks, the victim may experience arthritic-type symptoms. This infection also causes nausea, vomiting, rashes, and high levels of blood bacteria.

Severe cases: Serious or undiagnosed cases can include neurological damage that impacts gait movements and cognitive decline. Severe cases also include coinfections, as with many other tick-borne diseases.

Affects: People and pets.

Typical treatment: Borrelia miyamotoi antibiotics and medications include doxycycline, ceftriaxone for meningoencephalitis, and penicillin G in complex cases.

Vaccine: None. VLA15 is designed for protection against Borrelia, which causes Lyme.

4. Ehrlichiosis

Cause: Ehrlichia genus bacteria. Tick diseases ehrlichiosis in the U.S. includes Ehrlichia chaffeensis, E. ewingii, or E. muris eauclairensis.

Common source: Infected Lone Star tick.

Symptoms of tick diseases: Ehrlichiosis is one of the Lone Star tick diseases that produce symptoms like muscle aches and pains, headaches, fevers, exhaustion, and possibly a rash. These symptoms depend on the Ehrlichia bacteria involved.

Severe cases: Ehrlichiosis is capable of causing serious health problems and even death if not diagnosed in time.

Affects: People and animals. Brown dog tick diseases in dogs include canine ehrlichiosis.
Typical treatment: Quick response antibiotic treatment can lead to a full recovery.

Vaccine: None.

5. Lyme disease

Cause: Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria.

Common source: Infected black-legged ticks (deer ticks).

Symptoms of tick diseases: Can include erythema migrans body rash or bull’s eye rash, fever, exhaustion, and headaches.

Severe cases: If undiagnosed or untreated, this infection can lead to severe heart, nervous system, and joint complications.

Affects: People and animals can develop symptoms.

Typical treatment: Antibiotic treatment soon after the infection can lead to a full recovery.

Vaccine: None.

6. Powassan virus (POWV) – deer tick virus

Cause: Flavivirus family. Other viruses in this family include the dreaded Dengue fever, West Nile, and Zika viruses.

Common source: Infected black-legged ticks (deer ticks).

Symptoms of tick diseases: Children and adults with weaker immune systems are most at risk from this virus. The symptoms of the Powassan virus may include weakness, headaches, fever, vomiting, coordination issues, and seizures. This virus attacks the brain and causes a form of encephalitis.
Severe cases: Serious neurological injury can occur. The virus can also cause long-lasting or permanent brain damage and death.

Affects: Fortunately, this is not among the most common tick diseases in Massachusetts, although it is among the deadliest. It affects people but has not been found to cause illness in cats, dogs, or horses.

Typical treatment: No particular treatment is available, so prevention in the form of Safer Nature pest control, protective clothing, repellants, vigilance, and avoidance of woodlands and grasslands in active tick seasons is advisable.

Vaccine: None.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF)

Cause: Rickettsia rickettsii bacteria family (includes spotted fever rickettsiosis, rickettsialpox Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, and Pacific Coast tick fever).

Common sources: Infected brown dog ticks, American dog ticks, and Rocky Mountain wood ticks.

Symptoms of tick diseases: Fever, headaches, muscle aches, and stomach pain are common. A full-body rash starts at the wrists and ankles and spreads to the rest of the body.

Severe cases: Organ failure and death can occur in cases of severe infections and if left untreated.

Affects: People and dogs. Dogs cannot transfer these bacteria to people. People only contract this disease from infected ticks.

Typical treatment: Antibiotics.

Vaccine: None.

Tularemia – rabbit or deer fever

Cause: Francisella tularensis bacteria.

Common sources: Infected rabbits, rodents, and ticks can carry this disease and be infected by it. People can contract this disease through bites from ticks and insects like deer flies. They can also pick up these bacteria by handling infected animals, ingesting contaminated water or food, or breathing in contaminated dust.

Symptoms of tick diseases: Depending on how the person acquires the infection, they can suffer from skin ulcers, fatigue, swollen lymph glands, fevers, headaches, muscle aches, and chills.

Severe cases: Individuals can develop pneumonia, sepsis, or meningitis from these bacteria.

Affects: People, rabbits, hares, rodents, wild animals, and domestic pets.

Typical treatment: Antibiotics.

Vaccine: Available to people in high-risk environments.

Safer Nature Pest Control Options For the Most Common Tick Diseases

We suggest you read through our guidelines on protecting yourself from the most common tick diseases in Massachusetts.

Once you’ve finished reading those guidelines, call us at (978) 325-1325. We will walk you through your pest control options.

These methods include organic pest control and traditional pest control solutions.

One customer review says this about our services, “Great experience with Safer Nature and would definitely recommend! Ryan is extremely responsive and knowledgeable, proactively follows up, and did a great job!”

Our repeat and new customers know they’re in good hands with Safer Nature. So, phone us or contact us online now to arrange a quote. We will be in touch quickly to help resolve your pest problem – whether it involves ticks, fleas, or other pesky critters.