Doctors and pest control experts from the Middle South are seeing an increase in ticks


The local trend this week follows concerns of national experts about an increase in the national tick population due to shorter winters and warmer temperatures.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee – “Ticks have been a pretty bad problem this year,” said Johnny DeLuke, general manager of Mid-South Pest & Termite.

DeLuke is on the go more often and has recently been responding to an unusually high 20 to 30 tick-related calls per week.

“Keeping the grass very low helps a lot. Keep the bushes away from the house, firewood on the ground,” DeLuke said.

Experts said tall grass and forested areas – including hiking trails – are more mature places for ticks to be and sometimes bite.

They indicate a combination of warmer winters and current summer temperatures for an increase in the tick population at the national and local levels.

“Ticks can jump very far, so this is very important. As with many things in medicine, prevention is key,” said Baptist Dr. Mark Castellaw.

The Shelby County Health Department said if a tick is clinging to you, get a pair of tweezers, slowly and evenly pull the tick out, and then clean the bite.

Health experts said that within 30 days, if you experience any of these symptoms, you should look out for symptoms such as rash, fever, fatigue, and muscle pain and see a doctor.

“The good news – it’s easy to treat with simple antibiotics and usually with no real consequences,” said Dr. Mark Castellaw.

Dr. Castellaw said that if left untreated, some tick bites can lead to serious health problems.

“They think tick bites – no big deal. But they can be fatal because ticks carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain fever. All of these conditions can cause serious illness,” said Dr. Castellaw.

So he reminded the public to go outside during this high tick season, wear lighter colored clothing, pants and long sleeves if possible, and don’t forget to spray on extra protection.

“Make sure you can use any type of commercially available insect repellent that will help,” said Dr. Castellaw.

Doctors also reminded the public if you worked or outside in tall grass or forest to check for ticks before entering and to check young children and pets if they were outside in similar environments.

I’m there live at 5/6 @LocalMemphis as pest control workers and local doctors agree on a current trend: an unusually high number of tick-related calls and doctor visits. pic.twitter.com/1lRgGL7t79

– Brad Broders (@ Local24Brad) June 25, 2021



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