Ticks

Overview

Warm weather makes people (and ticks!) more active. Ticks can spread diseases like Lyme diseaseRocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis. Fortunately, you can take steps to protect yourself and your family from getting bitten.

A tick on a finger

Prevention

Dress Appropriately

  • Wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to spot ticks.
  • Tuck pant legs into socks and boots, tuck shirts into pants, and wear long-sleeved shirts buttoned at the wrist.

Use Insect Repellent registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when outdoors.

  • Use repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
  • Use EPA’s search tool to find a product that is right for you.
  • Always follow product instructions.
  • Apply permethrin to clothing and shoes to kill ticks. Do not apply to bare skin.

Avoid/Reduce Tick Habitats

  • Avoid tick-infested areas, such as tall grasses and wooded areas.
  • Stay on trails.
  • In yards, keep grass and underbrush thinned and eliminate wood piles.
  • Consider using landscaping techniques to create a “tick-safe” zone.

Do a Tick Check

  • Check for ticks whenever you, family members, or pets return from being outside, even in your own yard.
  • Shower within 2 hours of being outdoors to wash off ticks.
  • Put clothes in the dryer for 10 minutes on high heat to kill remaining ticks.

Talk to your Veterinarian about tick control for your pets.

Image showing where to check for ticks

Tick Removal

  • Remove the tick as soon as you notice it.
  • Use fine-tipped tweezers to firmly grasp the tick close to the skin and pull it straight out.
  • Clean the skin with soap and warm water or alcohol.
  • Watch for signs of sickness, such as rash or fever, in the days and weeks following the bite.
  • Submit the tick for identification:

Image showing how to Remove a Tick with tweezers at the head