Tick Facts and Prevention

Tick exposure can happen year-round, but ticks and tick bites are more prevalent from April through September.  Your IMA providers would like to offer some helpful tips to prevent tick bites but also some helpful information regarding ticks.

 

Tick Facts

  1. Only Deer ticks spread Lyme disease and less than 5% of Deer ticks carry Lyme disease
  2. Nymph forms (the immature form) of the tick are most active May – July, Adults in the Fall
  3. Most people with known tick bites do NOT contract Lyme disease
  4. Almost no chance of Lyme disease if tick present for less than 48 hours
  5. It is common to get a rash from a tick bite, but not always the rash of Lyme disease, Erythema Chronicum Migrans (ECM).
  6. The ECM rash is present in 80% of those with actual Lyme disease, 20% never see a rash. Additionally the ECM rash is flat, pale red, warm, larger than 2 ” diameter.
  7. Treatment of Lyme disease in early stage, if rash present, is almost always effective. Waiting up to 30 days to begin treatment will not reduce effectiveness of treatment.
  8. Preventative treatment is available (one dose of antibiotic Doxycycline) for those who meet criteria:  Confirmed Deer tick bite, Tick present over 36 ours, Tick not engorged, Treatment able to begin within 72 hours of tick removal

How To Remove A Tick & Testing Information

The only research proven method to a remove tick is to grab the tick as close to skin as possible with tweezers, Pull straight up with firm and steady traction.  Do NOT jerk. Do NOT crush the tick.  Testing the tick for the presence of Lyme disease is not recommended as it offers little information and is expensive. Blood tests at the time of the bite are not recommended.  Lyme blood tests do not turn positive until two weeks later, at the earliest.  Sometimes take up to 30 days to turn positive

How To Prevent Tick Bites Before You Go Outdoors

  • Know where to expect ticks – grassy, brushy and wooded areas
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permithan
  • Use and EPA registered insect repellent and always follow the product directions
  • Avoid contact with ticks by avoiding grassy, brushy and wooded areas and stay in the center of the trail

After Coming Indoors

  • Check all clothing for ticks
  • Examine all gear and your pets if they were outside with you for ticks
  • Shower within two hours of being outdoors
  • Conduct a full body check after being outdoors. Check these body parts for ticks:
  1. Under the Arms
  2. In and around the ears
  3. Inside the belly button
  4. Between the legs
  5. Around the waist
  6. In and around the hair

 

Should you have any questions regarding ticks and tick bites, your IMA providers are here to provide you with any answers you need.