Couple hikes through the grass trying to avoid Lyme disease from tick bites

How Lyme Disease Is Actually Spread

As spring and summer come, you may be getting ready for your favorite outdoor activities. However, this is the time when you’re more at risk for tick bites. 

Although ticks are more likely to latch on during the warmer seasons, there are ways to prevent tick bites and possible Lyme disease infection. You’ll be able to enjoy the warmer weather, knowing that you are safeguarded against bites. Here is how Lyme disease is spread and how you can prevent it.

Lyme Disease Through Tick Bites

Lyme disease can be transmitted to humans through tick bites. The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi can infect ticks through bloodborne infection when eating off animals. The tick gets infected and later transmits it to humans when feeding on them. 

The tick normally has to be attached for 36 to 48 hours before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted. Most people are infected through immature ticks called Nymphs because they’re tiny (less than 2 mm). 

How is Lyme Disease Transmitted?

Ticks can’t fly or jump so they will perch themselves on tall grass blades. They will hold themselves by their back legs and reach out with their upper pair of legs. They will crawl onto you and find a place to bite when you pass by. 

Some ticks will secrete small amounts of saliva with anesthetic properties so that you won’t feel the tick attached to you. Like the blacklegged tick, some ticks will suck on the blood slowly for several days. After the tick is done eating, it will detach itself from you and prepare for its next life stage. 

How To Prevent Lyme Disease

The way to avoid Lyme disease is not getting bit by a tick. You can practice preventative measures that will prevent ticks from biting you, including: 

  • Don’t travel through dense vegetation
  • Wear protective clothing 
  • Use insect repellent 

You should also check your clothes and body when returning inside. They will latch onto hard-to-see spots like in and around your ears, in your hair, inside your belly button, under the arms, and back of your legs. Tick bites usually appear as a bullseye rash that can be spotted when inspecting your body. 

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