Which Ticks Carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

Walking around a nearby trail or lounging in your backyard is a relaxing way to connect with nature. However, even a simple stroll outdoors can expose you to tiny insects, like ticks, that carry diseases.

Ticks are parasites that carry a host of dangerous illnesses and are more active in the spring and summer.

Nada Mosquito offers tick control service in New Jersey and educational resources to help you recognize which ticks carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever and eliminate them from your yard.

What Is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, also called Rickettsia rickettsia, is a nasty illness that infected ticks carry and spread through bites.

Ticks bite a variety of rodents during their course from larvae to adulthood. Larvae (baby ticks) and nymphs (adolescent ticks) may bite chipmunks and squirrels, but adult ticks bite deer, dogs, and even people, spreading this disease.

Ticks That Carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Although American dog ticks are the most common tick that spreads this illness, the brown dog tick, lone-star tick, and Rocky Mountain wood tick can also carry it.

Other types of ticks, like the black-legged (deer) tick and Gulf Coast tick, do not spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to Watch Out For

Rocky Mountain spotted fever can cause several unpleasant symptoms. Symptoms usually manifest between 3 and 14 days after contact with an infected tick, but some signs may not appear until much later.

If you exhibit any of these symptoms, immediately see a physician:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Rash

Your symptoms may vary, so a prompt diagnosis is critical. Your doctor will examine your blood through laboratory testing to diagnose you with Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

How Dangerous is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

Unlike a traditional virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever isn’t contagious in the sense of being spread from person to person. However, skin contamination through tick blood and feces is still possible.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is fatal in about 4% of cases. When undiagnosed, that percentage balloons to 20%, possibly higher. This is why it’s important to know which ticks carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Measures You Can Take to Avoid Getting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Like most infections, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is preventable with a few best practices. Some ways you can prepare for and prevent contact with ticks include:

  • Avoiding grassy or bushy areas
  • Treating clothes with permethrin
  • Checking pets and gear after a walk
  • Showering shortly after going outdoors

Contact Your Local Tick Control Company to Protect Yourself and Others

If you notice a tick, then proper disposal is of utmost importance. Stay prepared by knowing which ticks carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever and how to dispose of a tick the safe way.

Use a pair of fine-tip tweezers to grab the tick without twisting it. Once removed, flush it down the toilet and clean the bite with soapy water or rubbing alcohol. 

Call Nada Mosquito at (732) 743-7129 to learn how your trusted New Jersey tick control specialists can keep you tick-free.