Ticks are active during the warm months of spring and summer, and participating in outdoor activities during this time can lead to the transmission of tickborne disease.
What tickborne diseases are most often found in Virginia and Fairfax County?
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI)
- Maintain a tick free yard
- Avoid tick-infested areas such as tall grass and dense vegetation.
- Walk in the center of mowed trails to avoid brushing against vegetation.
- Keep grass cut and underbrush thinned in yards. Follow directions carefully if chemical pesticides are used for tick control or hire a professional.
- Eliminate the living places of small rodents.
- Wear light-colored clothing so that ticks are easier to see and remove.
- Tuck pant legs into socks and boots. Wear long-sleeved shirts buttoned at the wrists.
- Conduct tick checks on yourself, your children and your pets every 4 to 6 hours.
- Apply tick repellent to areas of the body and clothing that may come in contact with grass and brush. Select repellents specifically for ticks; ones containing 30 percent DEET or 0.5 percent permethrin are effective in repelling ticks. Follow directions carefully and do not overuse. Some tick repellents can cause toxic or allergic reactions. Permethrin products only work on clothing, not skin.
- Ask your veterinarian to recommend tick control methods for your pets. Animals can get Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but they do not transmit these diseases to humans.
What if I am bitten by a tick?
If you are bitten by a tick you should remove it promptly, and you may wish to consult with your health care provider. If you develop any signs and symptoms of early Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or ehrlichiosis you should promptly seek medical attention. For instructions on how to remove a tick safely, please refer to our tick removal page.