Control Measures & Information on Tick-Borne Diseases
Published on Jun 13, 2018 at 03:00p.m.
Tick-borne diseases are illnesses that spread to humans by the bite of an infected tick. Tick-borne diseases are not spread person-to-person. Ticks can become infected from bacteria or parasites when feeding on small mammals. Some common tick-borne diseases in New Jersey are: Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis. Over the past 10 years, New Jersey has consistently reported near the top for Lyme disease cases in the United States.
Symptoms of tick-borne diseases may not be present themselves for up to 9 weeks. Such symptoms will vary depending on the transmitted disease.
Here is a list of some symptoms of tick-borne diseases:
- Skin rash
- Malaise or feeling tired
- Fever and/or chills
- Muscle aches
- Stiff neck
- Joint pain
How can tick-borne diseases be prevented?
- Take extra precaution in summer months when tick diseases are more active
- Avoid wooded areas with thick, dense shrubs, high grass and lots of leaves
- If you hike, stay in center of trail and not in the brush
- Wear long, solid and light colored clothing with pants tucked into socks when outdoors
- When outdoors, apply EPA-registered insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing
- Keep yard and lawn trimmed/mowed to make less attractive to ticks
- Keep grounds under bird feeders clean
- Keep patios, decks and playground equipment away from trees and yard edges
Other helpful tips on controlling the spread of tick-borne diseases include the following:
- Remove ticks from clothing before entering the house
- Showering can help find/wash off unattached ticks
- Wash clothing with hot water and use high heat to dry the garments
- Perform daily tick checks after being outdoors especially armpits, scalp, and groin areas
If you find a tick on or in your skin, make sure to do the following:
- Use fine tipped tweezers to remove the tick
- Grab the tick close to the skin with the tweezers and pull straight out (do not twist tick)
- After completely removing the tick, clean your skin with soap and warm water
- Contact your healthcare provider if you develop or exhibit any symptoms
- Do NOT use petroleum jelly, hot matches, nail polish remover or other products to remove ticks