Which Is The Worst Tick In Texas?
Texas is home to five species of ticks and while we hear a lot about the deer tick – the black legged tick – all five species of ticks found in Texas can cause disease and some of those diseases can kill you. So which tick is the worst one of the lot? Let’s explore.
The five species of ticks in Texas include the American Dog Tick, Black legged tick, Brown Dog Tick, Gulf Coast Tick, and the Lone Star Tick.
The bite from any of these ticks can cause an unpleasant disease. If you are guessing about which one the worst of the lot is you might consider the black legged tick, which is the tick whose bite causes Lyme Disease. In fact, the bite from a black legged tick can cause a host of diseases including one called Powassan Disease. Powassan disease makes Lyme Disease look mild as it can cause seizures and neurological damage, including memory loss. The worst news about Powassan Disease is that there is no known treatment. As the disease progresses, hospitalization is needed so that advanced treatment can help to control and reduce brain swelling.
The Black Legged Tick is most likely the worst tick you can come into contact with but not all black legged ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause disease.
The Lone Star Tick is a close second as it can cause several diseases including STARI – Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness – which is very similar to Lyme Disease. Of interest is a disease called Heartland Virus which can be deadly. There is no specialized treatment for heartland Virus which cause the body to become weak and may cause extreme dialarhoea. The Lone Star Tick also causes Ehrlichiosis, which is treatable, and Tularemia, which is also treatable.
The American Dog Tick, the Brown Dog Tick, and the Gulf Coast Tick all cause variations of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which is unpleasant, but treatable. The American Dog Tick might also cause Tularemia.
The bottom line when it comes to ticks is that if the tick that bites you is a host to a bacteria or virus that causes any of these diseases, you are at risk. That makes all of these ticks bad news. The worst of the lot is most likely the black legged tick which causes both Lyme disease and Powassan disease – though there are very few cases of Powassan disease found in the US. The most concerning disease is Heartland Virus which can be deadly and is more likely to occur than is Powassan Disease. Lyme Disease is not pleasant but if treated early chances are that you will make a full recovery. If not, the disease progresses into Chronic Lyme Disease and can be quite painful. There is no specific cure for Lyme Disease though antibiotics and other drugs are prescribed to help control symptoms.
An easy way to help prevent tick bites is to use tick approved insect repellent. Talk to our team about ways to reduce tick habitat and contact around your yard.