Ticks can infect humans and pets with bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause serious illness. When gardening, camping, hiking, and playing outdoors don't forget to take steps to prevent bites from ticks which include checking for ticks, showering after being outdoors and more.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and is spread to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks (or deer ticks). Not all deer ticks are infected with the bacteria. Lyme disease can affect people of any age. A vaccine for Lyme disease is not currently available.
FACT: Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne disease in New York State and is prevalent in the Northeast & Great Lakes region, as illustrated by the map generated from data collected by the CDC:
FACT: Ticks can be active any time the temperature is above 45° F. Young deer ticks, called nymphs, are active from mid-May to mid-August and are about the size of poppy seeds. Adult ticks are most active from March to mid-May and from mid-August to November and are about the size of sesame seeds. Both nymphs and adults can spread Lyme disease.
Infected deer ticks can be found throughout New York State.
FACT: Infected ticks have to be attached to you or your pet for 36-48 hours in order to transmit the bacterium into the bloodstream. So, when you’ve spent time in high risk areas where the grasses are high, in lawns and gardens, especially at the edges of woods and around old stone walls, always check for attached ticks. Don’t panic, carefully remove them.
FACT: Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic bull’s eye skin rash called erythema migrans.
FACT: Patients treated with antibiotics in the early stage of the infection usually recover rapidly and completely.
FACT: If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
- Video - How to Properly Remove a Tick
- The Insect Diagnostic Lab (a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension) - For a $25 fee, an insect or related arthropod can be shipped to the lab, or a detailed photo can be emailed, for expert identification
- Video - Tick Prevention, Clothing, Repellants and More
- Video - Life Cycle of the Black-Legged Tick (and Lyme Disease Prevention!)
- Ticks and Lyme Disease (ECDOH)
- Fight Ticks One Yard at a Time (ECDOH)
- Press Release: Warmer Weather Elevates Risks for Diseases Spread by Ticks
- Press Release: Mosquitoes & Ticks Remain a Threat; Mosquitoes in Erie County Test Positive for West Nile Virus; Active Time for Ticks
- Press Release: How to Protect Yourself from Ticks; Common Sense Prevention & Alert Observations are Recommended
- Lyme Disease and Other Diseases Carried by Ticks
- All About Ticks - Preventing Ticks on Your Pets, Symptoms of Illness and More
- Powassan (POW) virus
- Tickborne Diseases of the United States: A Reference Manual for Health Care Providers Third Edition, 2015
- Lyme Disease Data for Erie County