Thinking about biting insects is something that makes most people uneasy. Here in Lynn, MA, three of the most common insects that bit us are ticks, fleas, and bed bugs. They may be little, but when they bite you for their next meal, you’ll certainly feel it! While some result in minor skin irritations, others can pose serious health risks. Here’s what you need to know:
Ticks bite in order to suck the blood from their host. The most common members of these arachnids are dog ticks, deer ticks, and lone star ticks. These guys prefer the woods or tall grass, but they can easily make their way into your yard and even your home.
Not only do ticks bite, but there are a wide array of tick-borne illnesses. Lyme disease, perhaps the most well known in this area, begins by affecting the skin but can move on to the joints, nervous system, and internal organs if it progresses.
To prevent exposure, be sure to wear long pants that are tucked into socks when spending time outdoors hiking, doing yard work, playing or even relaxing. Chemical protection can also help, such as products containing DEET.
It’s also very important that you do a full tick check when you finish – this is especially important because it can take a while for the tick to latch and transmit any diseases. Be sure to check all over – including your hair!
Most people think about their pets when it comes to fleas. However, they can just as easily feast on us! While it’s important to protect our furry friends from fleas, it’s equally important to protect yourself. Fleas are parasites that need one thing – a warm-blooded host. Flea bits typically result in itchy, painful raised welts. They have also been linked to spreading diseases from the bubonic plague to tapeworms! To prevent them from affecting your pet, be sure to groom and bathe them regularly. Flea and tick treatments are also available in a wide variety of forms to meet the sensitivity needs of your furry friends!
As their name states, bed bugs LOVE living in your bed to feed on you while you sleep! Mattresses can quickly become infested when these critters move in, so prevention is key.
Their saliva acts as a numbing agent, so you may not wake up when bed bugs bite. They don’t spread or transmit any diseases, but allergic reactions to the bites are common. If you suspect that you may have these unwanted visitors living in your home, check the seams of your mattress. Start there, but keep looking as they can hide behind baseboards, wallpaper, switch plates, and almost anywhere else! This is especially important if you travel, as you may come into contact with them in hotels or in your travels. When returning from a trip, be sure to wash your clothes on high heat, as it will kill any bed bugs that may have found their way into your luggage.
Perhaps the most annoying on the list – mosquitos bite to drink your blood. Check out our last blog to learn more about these annoying pests!