Is a Lethal Tick-Borne Virus Spreading Across the United States?

What Is the Powassun Virus?

The Powassan virus made headlines last month after two women from Maine and Connecticut died after being bitten by infected ticks. Since then, reputable organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and multiple news sources have warned that the dangerous tick-borne illness might be spreading across the United States.

This virus is rare, but 1 out of 10 cases of severe illness result in fatalities, with 50% of overall survivors experiencing long-term health and neurological issues. So it’s best to take some precautions!

How Does The Powassan Virus Affect Humans?

There were 134 documented cases of Powassan in the U.S. between 2016 and 2020 – a 300% increase from the previous five-year period. Unfortunately, scientific research has not determined where and how ticks are being infected by this virus. Experts expect that numbers will only continue to rise due to climate change, as temperature shifts have encouraged ticks to expand their territories and survive increasingly warmer winters. 

When humans contract the Powassan virus, symptoms such as fever, vomiting, seizures, and memory loss are known to occur. The CDC states that about 50% of survivors also suffer permanent neurological symptoms.

These side effects usually manifest 1-4 weeks after the tick bite. Currently, no vaccines or medications are available to treat the virus.

To learn how climate change is impacting insect reproduction and migration, check out “Why Are We Seeing So Many Bugs this Summer?”

Are All Ticks Dangerous?

Most tick bites are harmless and don’t need medical treatment. However, many ticks – including deer ticks and wood ticks – can carry dangerous diseases and viruses, including the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease.

Again, there is only a slim chance you might contract any of these diseases from a tick bite. But hindsight is always 20/20, and observing best safety practices can prevent a tick bite and keep your family safe.

How Do I Protect Myself From Ticks?

The best way to protect yourself from the Powassan virus and other tick-borne diseases is simple: Avoid contact with ticks! 

Yeah, yeah, easier said than done – especially when it comes to job responsibilities and exciting outdoor adventures. But there are preventative steps you can take to optimize your safety. For example, you can apply insect repellents and avoid wooded areas and paths with a lot of brush. The Center for Disease Control also recommends that adults actively check their children and pets for ticks after exploring areas that could be infested. 

But what can you do if you have ticks in your yard or live in an area prone to infestation? Your best option is to hire a pest control company to treat your property and keep these bugs away from your family and pets. 

Call No Bugs Termite and Pest Control Inc. to help keep your home and family safe from ticks and other dangerous insects! Dial (661) 294-0206 for more information! 

If you would like to learn more about protecting yourself from ticks, information on this topic can be found in our other blog, “Enjoy Your SCV Hike, Not The Bugs.”

Are My Pets In Danger Because Of The Powassan Virus?

Ticks spread many diseases to pets, and scientists and vets have already identified the Powassan virus in dogs and cats.

So is your pet in danger?

Communication between veterinarians reveals that the Powassan virus poses little threat to pets. That’s great news, but we still don’t want to take chances. The best way to protect your furball from tick-borne diseases is to avoid areas where ticks are most likely to be found, such as areas with dense brush or tall grass. You may also want to do some yard work to make your property as inhospitable to these pests as possible.

Got Ticks in Your Yard? Call No Bugs!

Keep the ticks away from your home and yard by hiring the Santa Clarita pest control experts at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control Inc.

When you have No Bugs servicing your property, you no longer have to worry about protecting your family against ticks by yourself. Our team has the experience, products, and knowledge of local pest populations to help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. 

Call Santa Clarita’s #1 pest control service, No Bugs Termite and Pest Control Inc., at (661) 294-0206 if you have questions about tick control or need a treatment to protect your property from potentially dangerous pests.