Ticks can transmit multiple diseases, the most well-known being Lyme Disease. Some other less known diseases that can be passed from a tick to a human or animal are Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Powassan virus and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The species in our area of the country that carry pathogens and bite humans are the American dog tick, Blacklegged tick (also known as a deer tick), Brown dog tick and Lone star tick. 

Ticks can be active even in the colder months, but are most active from April through September. They live in grassy, brushy or wooded areas, or on animals. Outside activity during warmer months increases your chances of coming into contact with a tick, but the following tips will help prevent you from getting bitten. 

Before you spend time outdoors, treat your clothing and belongings with products containing 0.5% permethrin, or use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and Icaridin outside the US), IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), Para-menthane-diol (PMD) or 2-undecanone. You can also use a tick preventive product on your pet. Talk to your veterinarian about which products are safe to use. 

When hiking or camping, avoid wooded and high grass areas, and walk in the center of trails. Ticks can also be found in your own backyard, so keep your lawn regularly groomed and apply pesticide around the perimeter of your property, especially along wooded areas.   

After spending time outdoors, carefully check yourself, your pets, belongings, and your children’s clothing and bodies for ticks. Specific areas to examine on the body are in and around the hair and ears, under the arms, around the waist, inside the belly button, between the legs and back of the knees. It is best to shower after you come indoors to rinse off any unattached ticks and it is a great time to do a tick check.

If you find a tick attached to your skin, remove it with fine-tipped tweezers as close to the surface as you can. Pull upward steadily so you have a better chance of removing it with its mouth-parts. Clean the area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. If the tick is intact, you can go to The Tick App for information on identification and testing. 

If you have had a tick on your body for over 24 hours and/or start to experience symptoms such as fever/chills, aches and pains, and various rashes, please call your doctor, as they are common symptoms of tick-related illnesses.

For more information, visit cdc.gov/ticks.

Tick Prevention article, page 1 of 2. Click to open an OCR scanned PDF version of the entire Tick Prevention Article.

Tick Prevention article, page 2 of 2. Click to open an OCR scanned PDF version of the entire Tick Prevention Article.