PA Lyme Disease Statistics Show Us Leading the Nation

PA lyme disease statistics

A bull’s eye rash like this is a sign that you’ve been bitten by a deer tick.

Pennsylvania has been the best in the country at a lot of positive things in the past few years, such as promoting access to healthy foods, and preserving farmland.

But here’s something we probably won’t want to put on the travel brochures: PA Lyme disease statistics show the state led the nation in reported cases of the illness in 2013.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to people bitten by an infected tick known as the black-legged or deer tick. The number of cases of Lyme disease has risen 25-fold since health agencies began recording the disease in 1982.

Pennsylvania has been the number one state for Lyme disease nearly every year since 2009 – New Jersey beat us by 22 cases in 2010 – and accounted for nearly a fifth of all cases nationwide in 2013.

And this year, for the first time, the deer ticks that cause Lyme disease have been observed in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

How does Bucks County fit in?

According to PA Lyme disease statistics, most recorded cases in the state tend to appear in the suburban counties surrounding Philadelphia.

In the past, Bucks County’s Lyme disease statistics have put it near the top of the list in terms of reported cases of the illness. In 2007, there were between 200-300 reported cases in Bucks, putting it in the same category as Berks, Lancaster and York counties. (The state’s leaders that year were Chester and Montgomery counties, which each had between 500 and 600 cases.)

How serious is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a multi-stage, multi-system inflammatory illness that first manifests itself through a red rash that resembles a bull’s eye. Other early symptoms include fatigue, fever, chills, headache, joint and muscle ache and swollen lymph nodes.

Patients who receive treatment in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover quickly and completely. Treatment involves oral antibiotics such as doxycycline, amoxicillin or cefuroxime axetil.

If left untreated, other symptoms may appear, including:

  • Additional rashes on other parts of the body.
  • Facial or Bell’s palsy (loss of muscle tone on one or both sides of the face).
  • Heart palpitations and dizziness.
  • Shooting pains, along with pain and swelling in larger joints such as the knees.
  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness caused by meningitis (inflammation of the spinal cord).

In the months and years following a tick bite, patients with an untreated infection may begin to have occasional bouts of arthritis. Some patients will begin to experience neurological problems, including shooting paints, numbness, tingling in their hands or feet, and short term memory trouble.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of Lyme disease patients have symptoms that can last for years after treatment. These symptoms include fatigue, sleep disturbance, cognitive difficulties and muscle or joint pain.

Getting Help

You can try to avoid exposure to Lyme disease by taking precautions when you go outdoors. It’s especially important to take care in June and July, the two months where a majority of the Lyme cases are reported.

Here a few precautions to take, courtesy of the Lower Bucks Lyme Disease Support Group:

  1. Stay in the middle of wooded trails.
  2. Consider using a tick repellent that contains DEET on your skin, and Premethrin-based repellent on your clothing.
  3. Wear white socks, and tuck them into your pants.
  4. Make frequent checks for ticks when you’re in the woods, and then do a full body exam when you get home. Deer ticks are tiny – the size of a pinhead – so check carefully.
  5. If you find a tick, don’t put any substances on it. Use tweezers, grasp it by the mouth, next to the skin, and gently remove it. Put it in a plastic bag or a Tupperware container if you want to get it tested, and wash the bite, the tweezers, and your hands.

If you have found a tick and want to have it examined, Peter Benz Landscaping can help.

We now offer the Lymenator test, which can determine within 10 minutes whether a tick that you’ve found — whether on yourself, a family member or a pet — is carrying Lyme disease.

If you find a tick, follow the fifth step listed above and contact us right away. Lyme disease can be a serious illness, and early recognition and treatment might make all the difference.


The Best Way to Time Tick Treatment

tick treatment, bucks county tick treatmentLast year, a customer wrote to us with a number of very important questions concerning the timing of tick treatments. Because the egg-laying season of ticks in the Bucks County and Montgomery County areas in once again upon us, we figured this would be an ideal time of year to share our response with all of you.

—Peter Benz (Founder, Peter Benz Landscaping)

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Q. When do adult ticks lay their eggs and hatch?

Adult ticks will lay their eggs in the spring, which will then hatch into larvae in the summer season. The larvae tend to become most active in the month of August. At this point, these ticks do not have Lyme disease, because they must feed on an infected host in order to become infected.

Q. What are the life stages of a tick?

A tick has three life stages over a two-year period. There is one blood meal (feeding) per stage before they molt into the next stage. Remember, though, that a newly hatched larvae cannot pass Lyme disease onto a human, because they don’t yet have the disease. The disease must be picked up from an infected host. That host is usually a mouse.

After its one blood meal, the larvae will transform into nymphs in the fall. This is the most dangerous life-stage of a deer tick, because they are still as tiny as larvae, but may now be carriers of Lyme disease.

Read more about The Best Way to Time Tick Treatment

The Definitive Guide to Preventing Lyme Disease

lyme disease preventionSpring is almost here, and so it’s time once again to turn our attention to preventing Lyme disease. Everyone is susceptible to Lyme disease, especially those who garden, hike, camp or play outdoors on a regular basis.

Did you know the CDC has estimated that some 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year in the United States? (Incredibly, less than 30,000 cases are reported annually.) People who live in the Northeastern, mid-Atlantic and upper Midwestern states are especially vulnerable to Lyme disease.

Let’s take a look at a few different ways to prevent Lyme disease.
Read more about The Definitive Guide to Preventing Lyme Disease

The Only Effective Deer Repellent

Deer Repellent Bucks CountyThere’s really no debating it — deer are beautiful, graceful animals. Whether in the woods or in a suburban setting, the sight of them nearly always inspires awe and delight.

And yet the unfortunate truth is that wild deer aren’t always the gentle creatures we see in nature programs on television. In fact, they often bring ruin in their wake.

Why would you want to guard your property from deer?

  • Deer often destroy gardens, orchards and nurseries in their quest for food.
  • Disease prevention! Deer often play host to ticks, which infect thousands of people every year in Pennsylvania with Lyme disease.

Deer cause millions of dollars worth of property and land damage each year. That’s why it’s in everyone’s interest to safely and humanely keep deer away from our property.

Read more about The Only Effective Deer Repellent

Deer Tick Questions and Prevention Methods

Deer Tick Close UpWhat’s a Deer Tick?

Deer ticks are also known as “black legged ticks,” and can be confused with other kinds of ticks, especially dog ticks. They live by attaching to and then feeding off of unsuspecting hosts; their favorite host is the white tailed deer, as their name suggests.

What They Look Like

Small, brown and flat, deer ticks have eight black legs. Because of their small size and unobtrusive color, they appear nearly invisible; they’re about the size of a sesame seed. They’ll turn rust-colored or brownish-red after they’ve fed.

How You Acquire Them

Contrary to what is sometimes popular belief, deer ticks don’t “jump onto” their hosts. Instead, they make their way to your clothing or your pets’ fur by simply “brushing onto” you or your pets as you pass.

Why They’re Dangerous

  • They carry bacteria and viruses – which can be transmitted to you and your pets

Dear ticks can be dangerous because they are carriers of many bacteria and viruses, which they can pass them on to you once they bite you. Deer ticks are the primary carriers of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

  • You won’t feel the bite

The deer tick bite is painless when it occurs, so that you won’t feel it. You won’t know that you’ve been bitten until you begin to have symptoms of illness – which is why it’s imperative that you don’t get them on you at all. And remember, your pets are at risk, too. Read more about Deer Tick Questions and Prevention Methods

Lyme Disease Protocol

Tick Control Bucks County

At Peter Benz Landscaping we put a strong focus on helping our clients prevent the spread of Lyme disease through a variety of tick control services in Bucks County. These services include the installation of deer fencing and Damminix Tick Tubes. If you or someone you know has already been diagnosed with the disease, here are some helpful suggestions on how to take care of yourself.


The bacteria and microbes of the disease feed on glucose for energy so you should try and cut as much as this out as you can. This means to eat less of sweets and simple carbohydrates like cakes, pastas and breads. Lyme microbes can actually produce chemicals that can make you crave sweets so that you can feed them. The more you are able to avoid giving into them, the better you will feel. Resist the urge to feed the problem!

Read more about Lyme Disease Protocol

Lyme Disease in Pa- What are the symptoms?

Pennsylvania has been noted to be one of the top states in the nation of the most reported Lyme disease cases. This primarily non-fatal disease affects thousands of Pennsylvania residents each year. It is spread through deer tick bites, often transported onto suburban and rural lawns by white-tailed deer. Peter Benz Landscaping installs deer fencing and provides additional tick control services that can be a crucial step in Lyme disease prevention. Although it’s very important to also be aware of any possible symptoms associated with the disease.
Peter Benz Landscaping Lyme Disease Prevention

Make sure you and your family are aware of the following symptoms Lyme disease may cause and contact your physician right away if you notice any sign.

Early Symptoms: These can occur within a month after being infected with Lyme disease.

• Rash: This is the most vital and obvious symptom associated with Lyme disease.  A small, red bump may appear at the site of the tick bite, although a red bump associated with a tick bite doesn’t necessarily mean it’s Lyme disease. But, if the redness increases over the next few days, forming a bulls-eye pattern it is a serious sign of a Lyme disease infection. Some people may develop this rash in several different places on their body.

• Flu-like Symptoms: You want to keep an eye out for feelings like: fever, chills, fatigue, body aches and a headache (usually associated with the bulls-eye rash).

Later Symptoms:  Several weeks to months after being infected you may notice some of these symptoms.

• Joint Problems: You may notice outbreaks of severe joint pain and swelling, especially in your knees. The pain can shift back and forth between different joints.

• Neurological Problems: Some serious issues may occur weeks, months or even years after you have been infected. These issues may be inflammation of your brain membranes (meningitis), temporary paralysis of one side of your face (Bell’s palsy), numbness or weakness of your limbs and impaired muscle movement.

Don’t let anyone in your family come in contact with any infected deer ticks. By taking advantage of tick control services, you can avoid the dangers and threats of Lyme disease. Contact Peter Benz Landscaping to have one of our experienced tick control technicians install the right tools to decrease the population and prevent the spread of Lyme disease on and around your Bucks County property.