Frequently Asked Questions  


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1: What is Lyme disease?
2: What is a tick?
3: When are ticks most active?
4: Where do ticks live?
5: What should I do before going into areas where ticks may live?
6: What should I do if I find a tick?

1: What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread by the bite of a deer tick.

2: What is a tick?

Ticks are bloodsucking external parasites that feed on humans, wild and domestic mammals, birds, reptiles, and others.

3: When are ticks most active?

Nymphs, which cause the most Lyme disease cases, are most active in the late spring and early summer; however, adult ticks are active from October through April, whenever temperature rises above freezing.

4: Where do ticks live?

Ticks require a damp, humid environment to survive. These include wooded areas, among leaf-litter and plant debris, and in overgrown fields and hedgerows. They are rarely found in sunny areas of maintained lawns, agricultural fields, driveways and walkways, decks or patios, and on cleared paths.

5: What should I do before going into areas where ticks may live?

Wear light-colored clothing, tuck you shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks, and use tick repellents as directed. Upon return, check clothing, skin, and hair for ticks. At bedtime, do a full-body inspection for attached ticks or rash.

6: What should I do if I find a tick?

With fine-point tweezers, grasp the tick as close as possible to the skin. Pull the tick straight out with a steady motion. After the tick is removed, wash the site thoroughly with soap and water, and apply a topical antiseptic. DO NOT burn the tick with a match, smother the tick with petroleum jelly or noxious chemicals, or crush the ticks with your fingers. These can all INCREASE your risk of contracting Lyme disease.