What to Do If You Get Bit by a Deer Tick
New England is known as a hot bed for Lyme disease carrying deer ticks. This time of year especially, deer ticks abound and are a very real threat. Most tick bites don’t expose people to Lyme Disease, but deer ticks (also found on mice and other animals that roam New England) do. Deer ticks are quite small, a fraction of the size of other ticks, (see chart), but don’t let their small size fool you. Their bite can be debilitating.
What to Do if You Get Bit By a Deer Tick
First, you want to determine if it was a deer tick. Deer ticks are by and large smaller than all other ticks.
- Watch for symptoms such as fatigue,
- joint aches and pains,
- a target shaped rash
- and low-grade fevers or chills.
If you or your child get bit by a tick, treat the area with rubbing alcohol, remove it and bring it into your doctor’s office or into one of our urgent care centers.
However, as it can be difficult for non-medically trained people to extract the entire tick, and since it is vital that you remove the entire tick, we recommended people bitten by ticks go to a facility such as an urgent care center within the first 24 hours after being bit to extract the tick completely, especially here in the northeast.
The longer the tick remains embedded the higher the chances of contracting Lyme Disease.
What to do if you find a tick on your pet?
- First, lets use preventative measures to avoid their getting bit by a tick. Use a veterinary prescribed or strong tick repellent spot or collar. Pay attention to the expiration dates. Make sure to follow instructions and change collar as directed.
- Try and limit their access to tall grass and shrubs.
- Mow your lawn regularly
- Make your property inhospitable to rodents by keeping garbage and loose food contained
If you do find a tick on your pet, treat the area with rubbing alcohol and pluck the tick with tweezers, making sure you’ve gotten the biting head and other body parts. Since it may only take a few hours for disease to be transmitted from an attached tick, it is advised to have your pet evaluated by a veterinarian soon after any ticks are found.