Tick Information and Safety

Ticks can harbor:

  1. Lyme disease bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi), from Ixodes species including deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis)
  2. Less common:
    1. Babesiosis protozoa (Babesia), from Ixodes scapularis
    2. Ehrlichiosis bacteria (Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii bacterial), from Lone Star ticks (Amblyomma americanum), as well as Making People Allergic To Meat
    3. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Anaplasmosis bacteria (Rickettsia rickettsii), from Ixodes species [the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)]
    4. Powassan
    5. Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), infectious agent not yet identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from Amblyomma americanum or Lone Star tick
    6. Newly discovered in Kentucky (also spread by mosquitoes): Bourbon virus
    7. Newly Discovered in Missouri(phleboviruses, also spread by sand flies, mosquitoes): Heartland virus

Tick Species Identification Comparison Images

Common Reservoirs or vectors in the north east: white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus Rafinesque), microtus voles (Microtus spp.), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), outdoor dogs and cats

click to enlarge

After a tick bite, individuals may develop any of these symptoms:

  1. flu-like symptoms
  2. fever
  3. rash
  4. pain and swelling in joints
  5. nausea and vomiting
  6. NOT everyone will see a bulls eye or rash after a bite

If you exhibit any of these symptoms go see a doctor! These doctors are probably best: Lyme-Literate Doctors | LLMD search

Most tick bites are probably harmless and may cause no problems. The earlier a tick is removed, the less the likelihood that the tick transmitted any disease. If there isn’t any immediate skin rash reaction to a tick bite and if the tick is removed quickly, most individuals recover quickly.

Protection from ticks

  1. Don’t rely on DEET alone, permethrin is more effective against ticks, but neither guarantee you won’t contract any tick-borne diseases
  2. Do NOT spray your skin with Permethrin, but do spray clothing. Permethrin infused clothing by Insect Shield or other brands lasts longer than spays. Ticks need to travel across at least 6-8″ of treated area before death occurs.
  3. Do NOT use Deet on children.
  4. Wear light color clothing so ticks are easier to spot
  5. Ticks are active at 40 degrees or above
  6. Check after EVERY trail event
  7. Deer ticks will hang on grass or plants along the edge of the trail to grab whatever passes by
  8. Lone Star ticks, sometimes called Chiggers, can track you down from up to 30 feet away and will make a bee-line to when stopped
  9. Ladies nylons can help with Lone Star. Gaiters can help with runs.
  10. If removed within 36 hours you are less likely to contract diseases
  11. Do not smother or burn ticks
  12. Use tweezers to pull where it is attached to your skin
  13. Save the tick in a bag to save in case your doctor wants it
  14. Lone Star ticks will usually leave an itchy red dot
  15. See tick encounter, and project lyme

CDC_TickSizeComparison tickremoval

larvae, nymph, adult male, adult female

also see:

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