Do ticks in south carolina carry lyme disease.South Carolina Ticks and Animal Health

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Log In. This species is native to Asia but has spread to other countries and has been found in Arkansas, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia. The longhorned tick has been found on a number of wildlife hosts including deer, opossums, and raccoons, but it also feeds on dogs, livestock, and people. High tick populations on livestock can have significant impact on their growth and health. The ticks also transmit a number of pathogens that affect livestock as well as people.

Control of these ticks is the same as employed for the ticks commonly found in North Carolina and described below. Ticks have long been pests of humans, domestic animals and wildlife in North Carolina.

In doing so, they may transmit disease-causing bacteria or viruses that cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, both of which can have serious consequences for humans.

This publication will help you identify the most common species of ticks found in North Carolina and the diseases that they may transmit. It also describes ways you can protect yourself from ticks outdoors and control ticks in your home. Ticks are related to mites and spiders. They have four stages in their life cycle: the egg, the larva, nymph, and adult stages Figure 1.

Larva, nymphs and adults look simiilar except that the larva only have six legs and with some tick species, color patterns and markings may differ betwen the adults and immatures. After hatching from the egg, the tick must take a blood meal to complete each stage in its life cycle. Each stage of the tick usually takes a blood meal from a different host. For most ticks, each blood meal is taken from a different type of host. Ticks are usually most active in the spring, summer, and fall; however, the adults of some species are active in the winter.

When they seek a blood meal, ticks engage in “questing” behavior. Figure 2 ticks move from leaf litter or from a crack or crevice along a building foundation, or from another protected area to grass or shrubs where they attach themselves to an animal as it passes. If a host is not found by fall, most species of ticks move into sheltered sites where they become inactive until spring. Once a tick is on a host, it crawls upward in search of a place on the skin where it can attach to take a blood meal.

In addition, the tick produces a glue to hold the mouthparts in place. The female mates while attached to a host and usually feeds for 8 to 12 days until it is “engorged” full. By the time it finishes feeding, the female may increase in weight by times Figure 3.

A male tick may attach, but it does not feed as long as the female. The male tick may mate several times before dying. After mating and feeding, the female tick drops to the ground where it lays a mass of eggs in a secluded place such as in a crevice or under leaf litter.

Shortly after laying an egg mass, which may contain thousands of eggs, the female dies. The eggs hatch in about two weeks, and the life cycle begins again. Depending upon the species of tick, the life cycle may take as little as a few months or as much as two years. The adult American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis , Figure 4 is active in the spring, summer, and fall.

It lives along woodland paths, in recreational parks, farm pastures, wastelands, and other shrubby habitats in rural and suburban areas of North Carolina. In each stage of its life cycle, this tick may feed on a different animal.

For example, the larvae feed only on white-footed field mice and meadow voles or pine voles, whereas nymphs prefer medium-sized mammals such as opossum or raccoons.

Adults prefer humans and dogs as hosts. However, this species does not transmit Lyme disease. The American dog tick is found throughout North Carolina, but it is most common in the Piedmont area. Rhipicephalus sanguineous , the brown dog tick Figure 5 occurs throughout North Carolina and may be active year round. In all stages, it feeds almost exclusively on dogs and rarely attacks people. Brown dog tick females may lay egg masses in cracks and crevices along building foundations, in pet kennels, and in homes.

After a few weeks, you may find several thousand larvae climbing on walls, draperies, or furniture. When uncontrolled in kennels, populations of the brown dog tick may grow to extremely high levels. All stages of Amblyomma americanum , the lone star tick, Figure 6 readily feed on people and large wild or domestic animals such as deer and dogs. Adults and nymphs are abundant in the spring and summer months.

The mite-like larvae of this species, commonly called seed ticks, are abundant in the fall. In this stage, the lone star tick readily attacks humans. This tick is found in habitats similar to those of the American dog tick. However, this disease is not caused by the same organism that causes Lyme Disease nor has it been linked to the same arthritic, neurological, or chronic symptoms associated with Lyme Disease.

The lone star tick also transmits bacteria that cause erhlichiosis. It occurs predominantly in the coastal plain, but it may be found in the North Carolina Piedmont.

Recent research has also tied the lone star tick to the “alpha-gal allergy” where the tick bite can result in the person developing an allergy to mammal meat beef, pork, lamb, venison, rabbit, etc. Larvae and nymphs of Ixodes scapularis , the black-legged tick Figure 7 , feed on lizards and small mammals. The nymphs and adults attack small and larger mammals including dogs and deer. Adults are active in late fall, in early spring, and in winter when temperatures rise above freezing.

The black-legged tick is found in the same habitats and regions of North Carolina as the lone star tick. It is the vector transmitter of the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Also known as tick typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by a bacteria-like microorganism, Rickettsia rickettsii. Rocky Mountain spotted fever rickettsiae are acquired by an American dog tick when it takes a blood meal from an infected animal.

These bacteria are not harmful to most wild and domestic animals, but they are extremely pathogenic to humans and dogs. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is normally a disease of wild animals, but people can be infected while camping or hiking in tick-infested areas if they are bitten by an infected tick. In addition, pets may carry an infected tick into the family living area.

The disease organisms can also be passed through the egg of an infected tick and from stage to stage in the life cycle. Fortunately, only a small percentage of American dog ticks found in nature are infected.

Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever include headache, fever, chills, aches, pains, and sometimes nausea. These symptoms are usually accompanied by a rash that starts on the wrists and ankles. Early treatment of Rocky Mountain spotted fever with antibiotics can prevent severe illness, a person exhibiting any of these symptoms 2 to 14 days after a tick bite should consult a physician at once. If left untreated, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can cause death.

Lyme disease is caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium called a spirochete , Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacterium is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. Lyme disease was recognized as a distinct disease in after several children, living close to each other in the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, developed arthritis.

The disease is prevalent in the northeastern United States where the black-legged tick, lxodes scapularis formerly called the deer tick, Ixodes damnini is the vector of the Lyme disease spirochete.

The black-legged tick in the Southeast does not tend to bite humans and as a result many fewer cases of Lyme disease are found.

The lone star tick does readily attack humans, but only a small number of spirochete-infected ticks have been collected in the Southeast.

Like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease is indigenous to wild animals. Lyme disease has been divided into three clinical stages. Stage I involves a rash and flu-like symptoms. Within 30 days of infection, a characteristic rash ” erythema migrans” forms at the site of the tick bite.

The rash can vary in size from 1 to 18 inches. Later, secondary blotchlike skin lesions may occur away from the site of the bite as the spirochete organism spreads. The rash is usually accompanied by fatigue, a headache, a stiff neck, muscle aches and pains, and a general feeling of discomfort.

Stage II , which occurs during the next several weeks, includes cardiac and neurological symptoms. In most instances, these symptoms completely disappear after lasting several months.

Cardiac abnormalities occur in about 8 percent of patients. The symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, and heartbeat irregularities that may require installation of a pacemaker. Within several weeks these symptoms usually disappear. Stage III is distinguished by arthritic problems that may appear as long as two years after the rash. Patients may experience pain, swelling, and elevated temperature in one or more joints.

Some patients may also exhibit sleepwalking, loss of memory, mood changes, and inability to concentrate. Lyme disease and its complications can be effectively treated with antibiotics. Physicians use different antibiotics against each stage of the disease. With early treatment, the course of Lyme disease is shortened and the occurrence of late complications, such as arthritis, is reduced.

Therefore, it is important to diagnose Lyme disease and administer antibiotic therapy quickly. Ehrlichiosis is caused by several bacterial species in the genus Ehrlichia pronounced err-lick-ee-uh which have been recognized since Human ehrlichiosis due to Ehrlichia chaffeensis was first described in The disease occurs primarily in the southeastern and south central regions of the country and is primarily transmitted by the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum Figure 6. Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis HGE represents the second recognized ehrlichial infection of humans in the United States, and was first described in The name for the species that causes HGE has not been formally proposed, but this species is closely related or identical to the veterinary pathogens Ehrlichia equi and Ehrlichia phagocytophila.

HGE is transmitted by the black-legged tick Ixodes scapularis and the western black-legged tick Ixodes pacificus in the United States Figure 7. Symptoms of ehrlichiosis are somewhat similar to Rocky Mountain spotted fever.


– South Carolina Ticks and Animal Health | Public | Clemson University, South Carolina

There are more than one species of ticks here in South Carolina, but deer ticks by far are the most dangerous. The main reason for this is that. Tickborne diseases transmitted by these ticks include anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Lyme disease, Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever.


Reports of Lyme disease in South Carolina.

There are more than one species of ticks here in South Carolina, but deer ticks by far are the most dangerous. The main reason for this is that. Tickborne diseases transmitted by these ticks include anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Lyme disease, Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Which Local Ticks Cause Which Disease? We have four ticks in our neighborhood, the lone star tick, Gulf Coast tick, brown dog tick, and the American dog tick.