Ticks in Massachusetts are active year-round but tick activity is heightened from April to September as they are the warmer months. The first peak of tick activity occurs in March and gradually increases through June, July, and August. While not all ticks are vectors of diseases, most pose a serious health scare, especially to children and dogs. 

Ticks are the most active during the warmer months because of high humidity. Ticks are not conventional water drinkers. They survive on the moisture in the air. So the peak tick activity in the warmer months makes sense. Ticks are mostly found in wooded, bushy areas. So if your house is near the wilderness or if you have a garden in your backyard, your risk of contracting ticks and tick-borne diseases is significantly higher. 

Common species of ticks found in the Boston region and the general Massachusetts area are:

  • Black-legged tick

  • Dog tick

  • Lone star tick

Black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks can cause Lyme disease and Babesiosis (two very common tick diseases). Lyme disease is especially common in the region. Both humans and animals can contract Lyme disease. The symptoms of Lyme disease can show anytime between 3 to 30 days after a person contracts the disease. 

Common symptoms include fever, chills, fatigue, headache, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. Severe Lyme disease cases can also cause neurological symptoms such as facial palsy or arthritis. 

Tips for Preventing Tick Bites

  1. Ticks are mostly found in wooded and grassy areas. If you decide to go on a hike in the wooded areas always wear protective clothing. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks. Remember to tuck your pants into your socks. 

  2.  Apply insect repellent that contains at least 20% DEET to exposed skin. You can also treat clothing and gear with products containing permethrin, which remains effective even after several washings.

  3. After spending time outdoors, thoroughly check your body for ticks. Pay close attention to hidden areas such as the scalp, behind the ears, underarms, behind the knees, and around the waist.

  4. Taking a shower within two hours of being outdoors can help wash off unattached ticks and provide an opportunity to do a thorough tick check.

What to Do If You Find a Tick

If you find a tick attached to your skin, it's important to remove it as soon as possible. Follow these steps for safe removal:

  1. Use Fine-Tipped Tweezers: Grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.

  2. Pull Upward with Steady Pressure: Do not twist or jerk the tick, as this can cause parts of the tick to break off and remain in the skin.

  3. Clean the Bite Area: After removing the tick, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

  4. Dispose of the Tick: Submerge the tick in alcohol, place it in a sealed bag/container, or flush it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

If you think the tick population around your house is out of control, immediately contact a tick control professional. RidAway is a pest control expert that is EPA-approved, state-licensed, and industry certified. 

For a quick solution to an urgent intrusion, RidAway is ready to come to your rescue.