Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and several other tickborne diseases are spread to humans and animals from the bite of an infected tick.
Tickborne diseases can be serious illnesses and affect people of any age. A good reference for tickborne diseases in North Dakota is:
What do ticks look like?
There are many different kinds of ticks, but the most common ticks that people come across in North Dakota are the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) and the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), also commonly known as the deer tick. In 2019 the Lone Star tick was identified in North Dakota as well.
I found a tick attached...what do I do?
1. Don't panic.
2. Use tweezers to remove the tick. Avoid folk remedies like petroleum jelly, nail polish remover or burning matches to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible - not waiting for it to detach. A good resource on how to remove the tick safely is here.
3. Watch for symptoms for 30 days. Common symptoms include fever/chills, aches and pains, and a rash.
Prevention is key! Here are some tips to keep safe from ticks.
- Wear a long sleeved shirt and pants when walking in the woods or grassy areas where ticks are common.
- Walk in the center of trails.
- Use tick repellent.
- Take a shower or bath within two hours of being outdoors.
- Check skin closely after being in tick-prone areas, especially under arms, behind ears, between legs, behind knees, and in hair.
- Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing, pets and gear, then attach to a human later.