Tick Borne Diseases
Tick-borne diseases are infections transmitted by the bite of infected ticks. Ticks are also known as arthropod vectors and are cold-blooded (ectothermic) thus, especially sensitive to climate changes.
Ticks can transmit pathogens and parasites from one infected person (or animal) to another and from place to place causing serious disease in human populations.
Personal prevention measures and surveillance and control are key in preventing and controlling vector-borne diseases.
Make tick bite prevention part of your outdoor plans!
Protect Yourself from Tick Bites
- Know where to expect ticks. Blacklegged ticks (the ticks that cause Lyme disease) live in moist and humid environments, particularly in and near wooded or grassy areas. You may get a tick on you during outdoor activities around your home or when walking through leaves and bushes.
- To avoid ticks, walk in the center of trails and avoid walking through tall bushes or other vegetation
- Repel ticks on skin and clothing. Use repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours.
- Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth. Use products that contain permethrin on clothing.
- Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents with products containing 0.5% permethrin. It remains protective through several washings. Pre-treated clothing is available and may be protective longer.
- Perform Daily Tick Checks Check your body for ticks after being outdoors even in your own yard. Search your entire body for ticks when you return from an area that may have ticks.
- Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body and remove any tick you find. Take special care to check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks.
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside the belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around all head and body hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
Protect your property from ticks
- Make your yard unattractive to ticks and animals that carry ticks
- Keep grass mowed short
- Keep children’s toys, playground equipment, pools and lawn furniture at least 15 feet from wooded areas
- Create a woodchip or mulch border between your yard and wooded areas
- Keep areas under bird feeders and pet dishes clean, so it does not attract animals that may carry ticks
- Keep trash in closed containers or areas so it does not attract animals that may carry ticks
For more information on Tick-borne Viruses, visit:
New Jersey Department of Health Communicable Disease Service: VectorBorne Illness www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/vectorborne.shtml
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Tick-Borne Disease www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Stop Ticks www.cdc.gov/features/stopticks
Lyme Disease: https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: https://www.cdc.gov/rmsf/
Powassan Virus: https://www.cdc.gov/powassan/
NJDOH Tick Brochure: http://www.nj.gov/health/cd/documents/topics/vectorborne/tbd_brochure.pdf