NOAA Tick Size diagram

Deer tick size diagram from NOAA.

Erythema Migrans / Lyme Disease Rash

Avoiding Lyme Disease

The following information taken from the Centers for Disease Control's pages on Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful in the later stages of disease. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, landscaping, and integrated pest management. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tick-borne diseases as well.

Additional Resources

It's Spring–Time to Prevent Lyme Disease, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Describes how to prevent tick bites, checking yourself for ticks, how to remove a tick, symptoms of Lyme Disease, reducing ticks in your yard and on your animals.

Learn About Lyme Disease, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Covers prevention, transmission, symptoms, diagnoses, treatment, statistics, resources, and contacts. The site also includes information on How to Correctly Remove a Tick, as well as a link to "The Tick Management Handbook" for homeowners, pest control operators, and public health officials - compiled by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

Be Tick Free: A Guide for Preventing Lyme Disease, NYS Dept. of Health (2010). Includes information on the prevalence of Lyme Disease in NYS, tick life cycle, information on removing ticks and creating a tick-free zone around your home, tick repellents, and ticks on pets. 

Cornell Cooperative Extension Factsheet: "Deer Tick: Detection and Management." Prepared by: Carolyn Klass, Sr. Extension Associate; Department of Entomology, Cornell University (12/1993. Updated 12/2008 and 3/2010).

Insect Repellents: Use and Effectiveness, Environmental Protection Agency, May 27, 2010. This EPA fact sheet includes a tool for identifying a skin-applied repellent that is appropriate for repelling ticks and/or mosquitoes, instructions on how to apply, and length of effectiveness.

Tick Biology for the Homeowner, a 16-page PDF from the Harrington Lab for Vector Biology Research at Cornell University.

Understanding and Managing Ticks – A Guide for Schools, Child Care and Camps, from Cornell University Cooperative Extension and the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program.

Workplace Safety for Lyme Disease, National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, January 15, 2010. Discusses occupations at risk for contracting Lyme Disease, recommendations for employers, and recommendations for workers.


David Thorp
Senior Issue Educator

Last updated July 26, 2019