TICKS IN MARYLAND
Ticks in our area are either:
- The DOG TICK is about 1/8″ diameter and brownish black, and can enlarge up to 1/4″ when engorged with blood. It then becomes pale whitish in color. This tick can carry a germ that causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other tick borne illnesses.
- The DEER TICK is dark in color and is the size of a pencil dot. This tick can carry the germ that causes Lyme Disease.
MOST TICKS DO NOT CARRY THESE DISEASES.
TICKS USUALLY WALK AROUND ON YOUR BODY FOR 24-72 HOURS BEFORE THEY BITE INTO THE SKIN AND INJECT THEIR SALIVA. FOR THIS REASON, CHECK FOR TICKS TWICE A DAY.
Do NOT try to burn the tick with a match or other hot object.
Do NOT twist or squeeze the tick when pulling it out. This can cause the release of more saliva.
Do NOT try to kill, smother, or lubricate the tick with oil, alcohol, Vaseline, or similar material. This can cause the tick to dig in deeper.
If a tick is attached to you or your child:
1. Grasp the tick close to its head or mouth with a paper towel. Do not use your bare fingers.
2. Pull it straight out with a slow and steady motion. Avoid squeezing or crushing the tick. Be careful not to leave the head embedded in the skin.
3. Clean the area thoroughly with soap and water. Also wash your hands thoroughly.
4. Save the dead tick in a jar or sealed plastic bag.
5. If all parts of the tick cannot be removed, it is not an emergency; but call the office to discuss removing the remaining parts. Bring the tick in the jar or plastic bag to your doctor’s appointment.
Wear long pants and long sleeves when walking through heavy brush, tall grass, and densely wooded areas.
Pull your socks over the outside of your pants to prevent ticks from crawling up inside.
Keep your shirt tucked into your pants.
Wear light-colored clothes so the ticks can be spotted easily.
Spray your clothes with insect repellant.
Check your clothes and skin frequently while in the woods.
After returning home:
Remove your clothes and thoroughly inspect all skin surface areas, including your scalp. Ticks can quickly climb up the length of your body.
Some ticks are large and easy to locate. Other ticks can be quite small, so carefully evaluate all black or brown spots on the skin.
If possible ask someone to help you examine your body for ticks.
An adult should examine children carefully.