Tick-Borne Diseases in the State of Georgia

Serving Atlanta Metro | Columbus | Augusta | Savannah

Tick biting human in Georgia with Active Pest Control serving Calhoun, GAWith the changing weather approaching, ticks will be getting more active. If an itchy or painful bite isn’t enough to make these pests a scary part of summer, there are also a whole range of diseases that they can spread any time they feed. 

If you want to keep you and your loved ones safe from potentially life-altering tick-borne illnesses, it’s helpful to know which ones are most common in our area. While not all ticks carry diseases, these are the most frequent cases that crop up here in Georgia:

Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis

Spotted fever rickettsiosis refers to a group of diseases that have similar symptoms and are caused by closely-related bacterias. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is the most common of the spotted fevers, but others include:

  • Rickettsialpox
  • Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis
  • Pacific Coast tick fever

Symptoms generally include headaches, fevers, rashes, and dark scabs near the bite mark from the tick. Some of these can be life-threatening, while others are mild and pass quickly. 

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease hasn’t really been around for very long, if you consider that some diseases date back to the dawn of time; but since its discovery in Lyme, Connecticut, in the early 1970s, this disease is definitely making a name for itself. 

Early onset of Lyme disease can produce a rash and flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, and body aches. If untreated or misdiagnosed, it can lead to lifelong illness and life-threatening complications. In the worst cases, it can cause erythema migraines, joint pain, neurological problems, and complicate heart disease.


Primarily spread by blacklegged ticks, anaplasmosis is a disease caused by a bacteria called A. phagocytophilum. In most cases, the disease takes 1-2 weeks to start showing symptoms, though older or immuno-compromised individuals may experience the effects sooner. 

Anaplasmosis generally shows up as a fever, chills, or muscle aches. Without prompt treatment, however, it can lead to respiratory and organ failure or even death. 


Ehrlichiosis is becoming increasingly common in the United States. Unfortunately, Georgia sees more of these cases than many other parts of the country, particularly during spring and summer months when ticks are more active. Like other tick-borne diseases in our area, it’s spread by a disease that travels through bites. 

Rashes, fatigue, red eyes, and a fever are some of the most common symptoms, which often develop within a couple of weeks from exposure. Some people may also experience muscle aches, nausea, coughing, and joint pain. 

Alpha Gal Syndrome

Alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) is commonly associated with Lyme disease, but contrary to popular belief, it isn’t spread by the bacteria that triggers other diseases. AGS is actually stored in the saliva of Lone Star Ticks, which causes it to spread during a bite. 

AGS is most known for triggering allergic reactions to a specific carbohydrate that is found in almost all mammalian meat, like beef and pork. Individuals with AGS may experience life-threatening allergic reactions within hours of consuming meat. At this time, there is no known cure for the condition. 

Tick-Borne Illness FAQs

Most tick bites don’t result in an illness, but you should still be cautious if you know you’ve been bitten. Over the next few weeks, keep an eye out for common signs of a tick-borne disease, such as:

  • Rash or skin irritation, especially near the bite
  • Fever, chills, nausea, or diarrhea
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Flu-like symptoms

If you notice any of these symptoms or have any other concerns regarding your tick bite, it’s always best to speak with a medical provider right away. Always err on the side of caution if you think you, a pet, or a loved one may have been exposed to a tick-borne disease.

No, ticks do not always carry Lyme disease. That said, just over 500,000 Americans contract Lyme disease each year, so it’s still important to protect yourself from bites—especially in the spring and summer when these pests are most active. 

With proper medical intervention, some tick-borne illnesses—including Lyme disease—can dissipate within a few weeks of antibiotic treatments. Some patients may experience longer-lasting symptoms, especially if they have weakened immune systems or put off treatment. 

That said, other illnesses are not curable, such as Alpha gal syndrome, which requires ongoing management. Individuals with AGS may have to alter their diets and carry epipens indefinitely. 

It’s also important to note that without medical care, most tick-borne illnesses can lead to lifelong health consequences or death. If you suspect you have been infected by a tick, you should talk with your doctor right away.

Yes, it is possible for pets to get sick from ticks. For example, blacklegged ticks can spread Lyme disease to dogs and cats as well as humans. Especially if your pet goes outside, it’s recommended that you work with your veterinarian to find effective tick prevention measures, such as chemical-treated collars.

How to Avoid Tick Bites

At this point, many of you may be asking, “what are some control methods I can perform to keep myself safe?” There are a number of different things you can do to help protect you and your family from these pests:

  • Keep grass cut to ankle height
  • Wear an EPA-registered repellant when outdoors
  • Fence your yard to keep wildlife out
  • Remove clutter and wood piles
  • Work with a veterinarian if you have pets

Another way to protect yourself is to manage infestations on or near your property. While you may not be able to avoid every tick in the woods, you can control the populations in your yard—especially if you work with experts like those at Active Pest Control. 

Our team is committed to safeguarding the health of our community by providing exceptional tick control solutions. Whether you’re dealing with an active outbreak or want more personalized advice on how you can keep your space tick-free, contact us today for help!

Back to Tick Exterminators, Control & Removal

Tick-Borne Diseases in the State of Georgia in Georgia

Serving Your Pest Needs for Over 35 Years Across Georgia

McDonough | Conyers | Lawrenceville | Alpharetta | Marietta | Columbus

Newnan | Locust Grove | Rome | Atlanta | Brunswick | Byron | Augusta | Savannah