Tick Information

Here you can findout how to protect yourself from ticks, the types of ticks to look out for and safe procedure for dealing with a tick bite. 


Additional information about NCSWCD tick monitoring, control and surveying can be found below.

Protecting yourself from Ticks

The #1 way to protect yourself and your pets from ticks is to check every time you come back from an area that may contain ticks. Ticks do not jump, fly, or fall from trees. They crawl close to the ground on leaves, brush and wait on tall grass to jump onto a host. Stay on the trail! Steer clear of walking into areas with plants that will brush up against you. When ticks are not "questing" on plants they rehydrate under leaves in the woods, ticks need moisture to survive. The best way to avoid ticks is walking in dry/hot areas with little vegetation, on trails, mowed grass, and areas without plants growing above ankle height. 



 Tips for avoiding ticks

  • Wear light colored clothing to help spot ticks, long sleeve shirt and pants tucked into socks when walking in tick exposed areas. 

  • Treating Clothin with 0.5% Premethrin will repel ticks and last for multiple washes.

  • To kill remaingin ticks on clothing dry clothes after returning home. Tumble clothing on high heat for 10 minutes will kill any ticks still remaining after your initial check. Dry before you wash, ticks will die from a lack of moisture in the drier. 

  • Shower using a wash cloth to dislodge unattached ticks, and thouroughly check yourself when you shower over the next 48 hours

Know Your Enemy

All ticks pictured range from 1/4 inch to 1/16inch in size and have been drastically enlarged below to show detail

Lone-Star Tick
Lone-Star Tick
Deer Tick
Deer Tick
American Dog Tick
American Dog Tick
Woodchuck Tick
Woodchuck Tick

Removing a tick 

Prompt and proper tick removal may decrease your chances of getting tick-borne diseases. The steps are:

  • Use a fine-point tweezers to grasp near the head or mouth of the tick, as close to the skin as possible.

  • Pull firmly and steadily straight outward. Do Not jerk or twist the tick.

  • Disinfect the bite wound with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

  • Place the tick in a small container of rubbing alchohol to kill it. 

  • Record the date and location of the bite to monitor yourself for symptoms over the next 48 - 168 hours


Do not use petroleum jelly, gasoline, lit matches, oils or any other remedies to remove ticks. These methods may actually increase your chances of contracting a disease. 

Instructions on tick removal

Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases


Blacklegged Ticks also known as Deer Ticks (lxodes scapularis) typically transmit Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis.

  • Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borre/ia borgdorferi. A characteristic sign of Lyme disease is a red circular r:ash (bull'seye rash) that may appear a few days to a month, at the site of the bite, after being bitten by an infected tick. Multiple rashes may develop. About 60-80% of people who get Lyme disease develop a bull's-eye rash. Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, fatigue, stiff neck and muscle/joint pain, are also common in early Lyme disease. If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause complications such as recurring swollen and painful joints, temporary facial paralysis or heart problems
  • Anaplasmosis is caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum and may cause flu-like symptoms 1-3 weeks after the bite of an infected tick. Infection usually produces mild to moderately severe illness, with high fever and headache, but may occasionally be life-threatening or even fatal.

  • Babesiosis is a rare and sometimes deadly disease caused by the protozoan Babesia microti. The disease can cause fever, fatigue and hemolytic anemia lasting from days to months. It may take from 1-8 weeks for symptoms to appear.


Lone Star Ticks (Amblyomma americanum) typically transmit ehrlichiosis, tularemia and Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI). 

  • Ehrlichiosis is caused by the bacterium . Ehrlichia chaffeensis and is similar in many ways to anaplasmosis. Tularemia is caused by the bacterium F(fJncisel/a tularensis. Within two weeks, syrnptoms appear which include swollen lymph glands and a skin ulcer at the site of the bite of an infected tick. ST ARI is specifically associated with bite of a lone star tick but the cause of STARI is unknown~ Individuals infected with STARI may develop flu-like symptoms and a bull's-eye rash. However, ST ARI itself does not appear to be serious or potentially fatal. Alpha-gal is a red meat allergy thought to be , caused by bites of lone star ticks. Symptoms may start 3-6 hours after eating red meat and may include severe itching, hives and, in severe cases, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, shortness of breath and loss of consciousness. 


American Dog Ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) typically transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia.

  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. RMSF is characterized by a sudden onset of moderate to high fever (which can last for 2-3 weeks), severe headache, fatigue, deep muscle pain, chills and rash, which begins on the legs/ feet or arms/hands, and may spread rapidly to the rest of the body. Symptoms usually appear within 2 weeks of the bite of an infected tick. Tularemia (see above).

Transmission Ticks require a blood meal three times in their two-year life cycle. Ticks will attach to your skin and feed for 2-7 days depending on the tick's stage. Studies have shown that the tick must stay on the body for about 36 hours to transmit Lyme disease. As a result, protective measures and prompt tick removal is essential in reducing your risk of infection.


Diagnosis and Treatment Be sure to seek medical attention if you become ill after a tick bite. Generally, an evaluation of symptoms and blood tests will be used in making a diagnosis. Prompt diagnosis and treatment improves outcomes. Your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate treatment for you.


Repellents may be used to repel ticks and prevent tick attachment. Always read and follow all label directions carefully. Repellents containing DEET may be applied to the skin and clothing. Both CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that DEET not be used in children less than two months of age, and for children older than two months of age, the level should not be higher than 30 percent. For adults, CDC recommends the amount should be between 20 and 50 percent. Repellents containing permethrin may be applied to clothing only.


Personal Protection

Ticks will remain active year-round (above 40° F/4.4°C). Preventive measures should be used whenever tick-exposure is likely. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Wear long pants and sleeves
  • Tuck your pants into your socks
  • Tuck your shirt into your pants
  • Use repellents as directed
  • Walk along the center of trails
  • Conduct frequent clothing checks
  • Once home, dry clothing on the highest temperature setting for at least 10 minutes to kill any ticks
  • Carefully inspect your body for ticks
  • Keep pets from tick infested areas and check them before entering the house

Learn more about tick monitoring, control and repellents


Nassau County Soil & Water Conservation District recently participated in the 2022 TICK BLITZ

surveying a collective 1,500 meters of Muttontown Preserve.


The NYS Tick Blitz is a yearly event created by the Northeast Regional Vector Control Center NEVBD. With help from Cornell Cooperative Extension CCE and NYS Integrated Pest Management NYIPM.


The purpose of the study is to study all NY regions simultaneously to understand where different tick species are present and track their northward expansion.


Read about the Tick Blitz here

Types of insect bite marks 

A bite mark can be properly identified even after a bite has occurred by the marking of the rash.

Spider Bite

A spiders bite forms fluid filled bumps at the site of the bite

Tick Bite

Resemble a "bulls-eye" or a raised expanding solid patch

Insect Bite

Insect bites result in itchy or red raised skin reactions

Bee bites

Result in pain and a large amount of swelling in the area

Click on the images below to enlarge.

Tick Prevention Guidelines
Protecting yourself from ticks flyer