While ticks are active all year long, during warmer weather is often when numbers of ticks surge, so be on the lookout. Ticks are arachnids that feed on the blood of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks) and dog ticks are found throughout Massachusetts and may spread different disease-causing germs when they bite you. Lyme disease, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis are common tick-borne diseases in Massachusetts. You can take precautions to avoid tick-borne illness, including, checking yourself, children, and pets once a day for ticks when you come inside, using insect repellent, wearing light-colored clothing, and avoiding brushy areas. Find out more about ticks and tick-borne diseases here.
If you are bitten by a tick, you can submit the tick to the UMass Laboratory for Medical Zoology for testing. For information on tick testing, click here.