Where You're Likely to Find Ticks
Avoid tall grass, brush, and heavily wooded areas. Walk in the center of hiking trails.
Ticks can’t fly or jump. They do not drop from trees. They cling to tips of grasses and shrubs. When a person, pet, or other animal brushes the vegetation where a tick is waiting, it quickly climbs aboard.
Ticks are found worldwide. To see where they are in the U.S., click here.
In your yard, rake leaves, trim shrubs and weeds. Keep lawns mowed short. This helps create areas where most ticks cannot survive. Pay special attention to border areas, woodpiles, stonewalls and sheds.
Create borders of wood chips, stone or any other landscaping material to serve as a barrier between tick-safe and tick-danger zones.
Removing a Tick
If you find an attached tick, use tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick.
Avoid folklore remedies (“painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or dishwashing detergent or touching the tick with a hot match) to make it detach. The tick is cemented in place and cannot release until she has taken a full blood meal no matter what you do to irritate her.
There is a school of thought that suggests that the tick, when irritated, may regurgitate stomach contents into the wound, which could potentially increase the chances of disease transmission.
Click here to find out what else to do if a tick bites you.
Tick-Borne Diseases You Need to Know About
Ticks Can Transmit:
- Lyme Disease
- Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis
- Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI)
- Alpha Gal Allergy
- Borrelia Miyamotoi Disease
- Tick Paralysis
- Relapsing Fever
- Exotic Ticks
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy Increase in tick-borne diseases likely, US CIDRAP Center for Infectious Disease experts say June 26, 2018 http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2018/07/increase-tick-borne-diseases-likely-us-experts-say
Eisen R. J. et al. ILAR Journal Tick-Borne Zoonoses in the United States: Persistent and Emerging Threats to Human Health. Dec 15, 2017 Ticks and their associated pathogens, changes in vector tick distributions and tick-borne disease occurrence [have occurred] in recent decades. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28369515
Consumer Reports The Great American Tick Invasion May 30, 2019 An exploding tick population is spreading a host of diseases. Disease-carrying ticks, found in all 50 states, have significantly increased their geographical range in the past 15 years, showing up in new places nearly every year and multiplying quickly. https://www.consumerreports.org/outdoor-safety/the-great-american-tick-invasion/
Johnson, T. L. et al. Journal of Medical Entomology Prevalence and Diversity of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Nymphal Ixodes scapularis in Eastern National Parks (2014-2015) May 2017 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5657145/
- Deer ticks (I. scapularis) were found at all sites
- The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi was the most widespread pathogen.
- Borrelia miyamotoi Infected nymphs were found at 66.7% of sites sampled
- Anaplasmosis - infected nymphs were found at 77.8% of sites.
- Babesiosis (Babesia microti) was found at Acadia National Park and at Fire Island National Seashore (2014 and 2015). 28% of nymphs in a specific area were infected
- Multiple pathogens in deer ticks were found at all sites except Monocacy National Battlefield. Fire Island National Seashore … the highest rate of coinfected ticks. … B. burgdorferi and Ba. microti were the most common (41% of coinfected nymphs), followed by coinfections with B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilium 35.9%
- Lone star ticks occurred in high numbers at Fire Island National Seashore and Manassas. They were also found at Prince William Forest Park.
Hook, S. A. et al. Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases U.S. public’s experience with ticks and tick-borne diseases: Results from national HealthStyles surveys Apr 15, 2015 63.7% of respondents reported Lyme disease (LD) occurs in the area where they live, including 49.4% of respondents from the West South Central and 51.1% from the Mountain regions where LD does not occur. Conversely, in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions where LD, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis are common, 13.9% and 20.8% of respondents, respectively, reported either that no TBDs occur in their area or that they had not heard of any of these diseases. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1877959X15000540
Occi, J. L. et al. Journal of Medical Entomology Annotated List of the Hard Ticks (Acari: Ixodida: Ixodidae) of New Jersey Feb 8, 2019 …The verifiable hard tick fauna of New Jersey (NJ) currently comprises 11 species. Nine are indigenous to North America and two are invasive, including the recently identified Asian longhorned tick, Seven additional species may be present in the state or become established in the future but whose presence is not currently confirmed with NJ vouchers. https://academic.oup.com/jme/article-abstract/56/3/589/5310395
Sonenshine, D. E. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Range expansion of tick disease vectors in North America: implications for spread of tick-borne disease. Mar 9, 2019 Ticks transmit a greater variety of pathogenic agents than any other blood-feeding arthropod. The geographic status of four representative tick species are discussed in relation to these public health concerns, namely, the American dog tick… the Lone star tick, the Gulf Coast tick and the black-legged tick. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/3/478