BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Tick season has arrived in Massachusetts and public health officials are urging residents to be mindful of ticks this spring and summer season.
In a news release sent to 22News, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health says the most common ticks are black-legged deer ticks and dog ticks which can most likely be found in tall grass. Ticks are also commonly found in shady, damp, brushy, wooded or grassy areas including backyards.
The department says the most common diseases ticks carry in Massachusetts are Lyme disease, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis.
State Epidemiologist Catherine Brown says, “The best ways to protect yourself are to use a tick repellent with permethrin or DEET when you are outdoors, do tick checks on yourself, your children and your pets every day, and remove any attached ticks promptly.”
The department has made a video showing the simple steps people can take in preventing tick bites and the illnesses they cause.
Some favorite places ticks like to bite are: between the toes, back of the knees, groin, armpits, neck, along the hairline, and behind the ears. Health officials say to remove the tick promptly with fine point tweezers as soon as it’s discovered.
People should call their health care provider if they have been bitten by a black-legged tick, and are experiencing a rash or other symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, or sore and aching muscles.
The Department of Public Health says tick-related healthcare visits increase this time of year and they will be tracking those trends along with a monthly ticks report online.
Visit their website for more information about ticks and tick-borne illnesses.