A Warmer Winter Has Created a Climate for More Ticks in Greenville

One of the best things about living in the Upstate is you don’t really have to travel to take a vacation. The great outdoors is all around us. Maybe you’ve planned a day trip with your family hiking around the Swamp Rabbit trail and then headed to Travelers Rest for pizza and ice cream. Or is a long walk along the river in the shade of all the beautiful trees of Falls Park more your thing? Is one day not enough? It’s only a 10-minute drive from town to Paris Mountain State Park where you can camp for the weekend and feel like you’ve left civilization behind.

What Dangers do Ticks Bring to Greenville?

Outdoor living does not come without the need for precautions, however, and part of that means being aware of ticks. WIS reports health officials are warning of a larger tick population this year. There is no way around the fact that more ticks will mean more tick bites. More tick bites can lead to more tick-borne illness and in this part of the country that is most likely to be Rocky Mountain Spotted fever (RMSF). Tennessee has already experienced its first death due to this illness. The Macon County Times reports that a 20-year-old young woman recently died from Rocky Mountain Spotted fever after a five-week battle with it. They too make note of more ticks due to a mild winter.

What to Watch For

The good news is that no one is telling you to stay indoors. Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, RMSF, is treatable with antibiotics and Dr. Ann-Kathryn Burch, pediatric infectious disease physician with Palmetto Children’s Hospital tells us the sooner the better. Your first symptoms may be fever and a terrible headache and yes, most people will have a rash as well, but that can come later. Other symptoms may include nausea, abdominal pain, muscle pain, those similar to the flu. The combination of symptoms can be different for each individual. Watching for symptoms and reporting immediately is a major factor, even if you aren’t sure you’ve been bitten. Katie Underhill, the young woman from Tennessee, was first diagnosed with the flu. If you are sick and have spent time outdoors, ask your healthcare provider to test you for RMSF.

Preventative Measures

Mama always said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and that is definitely the case when it comes to Rocky Mountain Spotted fever or any other tick or mosquito-borne illness. You can’t get sick if you don’t get bit. Here are a few helpful hints:

  • Wear light colored clothing when outdoors that makes ticks easier to see.
  • Wear repellent, preferably containing DEET for best protection.
  • Check yourself immediately when you go indoors. Ticks like warm moist places such as the neck and behind the ear, scalp, pits, and groin area.
  • Throw clothes that were worn in a hot dryer for 10 minutes.
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

You can prepare your yard as well by following the 6Cs of Tick prevention. Again… no ticks, no tick bites. Mosquito Squad of Greenville would like to be a part of keeping your family healthy by avoiding bites from ticks and mosquitoes. Our barrier spray can rid your yard of 85-90% of those little pests and our tick tubes can keep more ticks from becoming adults and returning next year. Call us today to learn more about our services. We can’t wait to hear from you! 864-277-4299

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