Ticks & Lyme Disease Prevention

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

The Board of Supervisors proclaimed May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Fairfax County.

This month, take time to learn how you can limit your exposure to ticks. Preventing tick bites is the best way to prevent tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease.

It is important to be extra vigilant during the warm months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors.

Tick and Lyme Disease Facts

Protect Yourself & Your Family

  • Avoid direct contact with ticks. Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter and walk in the center of trails. Learn how to maintain a tick-free yard.
  • Bottle of DEET with capeUse a repellent containing DEET. Repellents with DEET can be applied to exposed skin to help repel ticks. Follow the label instructions.
  • Wear long, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Tuck your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants so ticks don't have easy access to your skin. It's easier to see ticks when they are crawling on light-colored clothes.
  • Use permethrin on clothing. Permethrin kills ticks and there are formulations to treat your clothes sold at sporting goods stores. Follow the instructions on the label.
  • Check for ticks. While outside, take breaks to check yourself for ticks. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you. Do a thorough check at the end of the day; use a mirror or have someone help you check the hard-to-see places on your body.
  • Promptly remove any attached ticks. Don't panic if you find an attached tick. Learn how to remove ticks properly.
  • Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine animals, coats and backpacks.
  • More prevention tips: Download our free reference guide.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

It’s important to know the symptoms of Lyme disease so you can seek early treatment when necessary. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • A bull's eye rash, as pictured here, is a sign that you have been infected with Lyme disease. A bull’s-eye rash. (Not every person infected with the Lyme disease bacteria gets this rash.)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Achy muscles and joints
  • Fatigue

If you think you have Lyme disease or are concerned that you may have contracted a tick-borne illness, consult your physician as soon as possible.

Learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2010, Fairfax County held a Town Hall Meeting about Lyme Disease. Read the presentations and watch the video.

More Information


Contact Us

SLIDESHOW: Fight the Bite

More Resources

Be Tick Free Brochure

Download the "How To Be Tick Free" brochure.

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