Tick-borne Diseases

The Blacklegged Tick, also called Deer Tick, is abundant throughout Massachusetts. They can carry the organisms that cause Lyme disease, babesiosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), and Powassan virus. While tick-borne illnesses can be very serious if untreated, they are preventable:
  • Protect yourself from tick bites. Wear permethrin-treated clothing when working or walking outdoors. Use insect repellents formulated to repel ticks. Perform a daily tick check after being outdoors.
  • The highest risk of disease is during summer months, May-August. Deer ticks can be active all year long. Nymph Stage deer ticks are active from early May through early August. They are about the size of a poppy seed, have a bite that is difficult to feel, carry the highest risk, and are responsible for the majority of tick-borne diseases.
  • Consider using environmental controls in your yard: Perimeter Spray, Mouse-Targeted Devices, eliminating tick habitat, and landscaping controls.
Useful Information
  • The University of Rhode Island TickEncounter Resource Center provides extensive information on tick identification, tick habitat, seasonal activity, disease prevention, environmental controls and tick testing.
  • Ticks can be tested for a small fee to see which disease causing microbes the tick may be carrying at the University of Massachusetts Laboratory of Medical Zoology