Lyme Disease Symptoms and Prevention

Tick Exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active April through September. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, and wooded areas, and on animals. Avoid contact with ticks by walking in the center of trails.

Before You Go Outdoors:

  • Treat Clothing and Gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing, and camping gear, and remains protective through several washings.
  • Use Environmental Protective Agency (EPA) Insect Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthan-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone (
  • Always Follow Product Instructions. Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old. Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.
    • After You Come Indoors:

      • Check Your Clothing For Ticks. Ticks may not die in the washer or dryer, so check carefully inside and out, especially in seams. Dry clothes placed in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes will kill ticks.
      • Examine Gear And Pets. Ticks on clothing and pets can attach to you later.
      • Check Your Body For Ticks. Use a handheld or full-length mirror to view all body parts. Check under the arms, in and around the ears, inside belly button, back of the knees, entire scalp, between the legs, and around the waist.
      • Shower After Being Outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease.

      Seek Medical Attention If You Observe Any OF These Symptoms And Have Had A Tick Bite:

      Early Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease (3 to 30 days after tick bite)

      • Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes
      • Erythema migrans (EM) rash: Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days (average is about 7 days), expands gradually over a period of days reaching up to 12 inches or more across, may feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful, sometimes clears as it enlarges resulting in a target or “bulls-eye” appearance, and may appear on any area of the body

      Later Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease (days to months after tick bite)

      • Severe headaches and neck stickness
      • Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
      • Arthritis with severe joint swelling, particularly the knees and the other large joints
      • Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face)
      • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
      • Heart Palpitations or irregular heart beat
      • Episodes of dizziness or short of breath
      • Inflammation of the brain or spinal cord
      • Nerve pain; shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
      • Problems with short term memory