What You Should Know If You Were Bitten By A Tick In Denver

an american dog tick crawling on skin

Ticks aren’t the most common pest in Denver, but they’re still responsible for hundreds of cases of tick-borne illness in the area every year. While there are no known Lyme disease-carrying ticks in Colorado, there are several other diseases that can be spread to you and your family from a tick bite. If you were bitten by a tick in Denver, here’s what you need to know.

Types Of Ticks In Denver

  • Ticks are spider-like parasites who feed on blood in order to survive. They prey on a wide variety of hosts from birds, to reptiles, to mammals. Ticks attach themselves to hosts by ambush, waiting on long stalks of grass and leaves until something brushes against them. Here are the main species of ticks indigenous to the Denver area:
  • The Rocky Mountain wood tick has a flat, oval-shaped body with dark brown coloration. They’re tiny, measuring 1/8 of an inch in length, but ballooning up to 5/8 of an inch when engorged. The Rocky Mountain wood tick thrives in fields, forests, and lawns. These ticks are known to transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, tularemia, and induce tick paralysis.
  • The American dog tick measures about 1/4 of an inch in length and has a reddish-brown coloration. As the name implies, these ticks are commonly found on dogs and other furry, warm-blooded mammals. They can be found in wooded areas and fields and are more common in secluded neighborhoods than in urban environments. A bite from an American dog tick can result in Rocky Mountain spotted fever or tularemia.

How To Identify A Tick Bite

Most tick bites are painless, and you might not realize you’ve been bitten. Ticks inject a type of anesthetic into the skin when they feed, allowing them to gorge themselves for hours, or even days without detection. If you’re bitten by a tick, you probably won’t know until afterward. Tick bites appear as small areas of redness and inflammation on the skin. The tick itself may still be visible, partially burrowed into the skin.

Diseases Caused By Ticks In Denver

While ticks are commonly associated with Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain wood ticks and American dog ticks indigenous to Colorado are not known carriers. These ticks do carry several other nasty diseases, such as:

  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) symptoms usually include fever and headache along with stomach and digestive discomfort. As the disease progresses, a spotted rash can become visible on the skin of the infected. RMSF can result in hearing loss, paralysis, or even amputation if left untreated.
  • Colorado tick fever (CTF) produces flu-like symptoms that typically subside after a few days but can cause lasting damage to the nervous system in severe cases. Most people afflicted with CTF make a complete recovery, though soreness and fatigue may persist for weeks.

It’s important to note that not every tick bite results in an infection. But if you suspect you’ve been bitten by a tick, common signs of tick-borne illness include:

  • Redness or swelling
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Joint pain

A tick bite can cause serious medical complications. If you have persistent symptoms, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Preventing Ticks

To keep ticks away from your property, follow a few simple steps:

  • Make sure your yard is free of any tall grass and any organic clutter like leaf piles or grass trimmings.
  • Create a barrier of gravel around your property to deter ticks from crawling in.
  • Construct a fence to prevent tick-carrying animals from bringing ticks on to your property.

If you are experiencing difficulty with ticks or have an infestation, contact the experts at White Knight Pest Control. Our professional team can give you advice for dealing with ticks and assist you in keeping ticks from invading your property. For effective pest control solutions for tick problems and all of your other pest problems, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experienced team at White Knight Pest Control today!