Deer ticks and dog ticks are found throughout Massachusetts. Ticks are tiny bugs most likely found in shady, damp, brushy, wooded, or grassy areas (especially in tall grass), including your own backyard.

Ticks can bite you and spread diseases like Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis (formerly human granulocytic ehrlichiosis or HGE), tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Ticks do not fly or jump. They attach to animals or people that come into direct contact with them.

Ticks feed on blood. They usually travel around your body for hours before finding a spot to feed. Shown in the photo: a tick that is engorged (filled up) with blood (right), and a tick that is not engorged with blood. The tick that is engorged has been attached for many hours. Try to find ticks and remove them before they attach and become engorged with your blood.  Removing deer ticks before they are attached for 24 hours significantly reduces the risk of them transmitting Lyme disease.

It is important to remove the whole tick.  Special tools can be found on the internet which may aid you in successfully removing an attached tick. For more information on tick removal Click Here.

Deer TicksDog Ticks

Deer ticks are responsible for causing Lyme disease, babesiosis and anaplasmosis (formerly human granulocytic ehrlichiosis or HGE). Both nymph (young) and adult deer ticks will bite humans. The highest risk of being bitten by a deer tick occurs throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons. However, adults can also be out searching for a host any time winter temperatures are above freezing. Deer tick nymphs are the size of a poppy seed and deer tick adults are the size of a sesame seed. Frequently asked questions on Lyme Disease can be found Here.

Dog ticks are responsible for causing Rocky Mountain spotted fever and certain types of tularemia. In general, only the adult dog tick will bite humans. The highest risk of being bitten by a dog tick occurs during the spring and summer seasons. Adult dog ticks are about the size of a watermelon seed.


Avoid getting bitten by staying out of areas where ticks live (shady, damp, brushy, wooded and grassy areas)

When outdoors, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks

Use repellants with DEET

Perform daily tick checks

Preventing ticks in your yard

Preventing tick on your pets

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