Tick Testing & Information

Prevent Tick Bites

While enjoying the natural beauty of Eastham, one should be careful of ticks. General precautions should be taken to avoid tick bites. Common ways to prevent tick bites are:

    1. Use insect repellents with DEET or permethrin when outdoors, and pretreated clothing.
    2. Wear long-sleeve clothing, pants, and socks tucked into boots, even in summer.
    3. Be extra vigilant during April to late October. Ticks are at the greatest numbers.
    4. Stay on trails when walking or hiking to avoid wooded areas where ticks live.
    5. Talk to your vet about tick control options (collars, repellents) for pets.
    6.  Carefully examine yourself and pets after being outdoors. Remove ticks if you can with tweezers and magnifying glass. Pay special attention to the folds in your skin. If you do find a tick, make sure to remove it properly. Watch video instructions.

Tick Testing

It is recommended that you get the tick tested if you are bitten. The testing can tell if common tick-borne diseases are present. Tick Testing information can be found here

TickLyme Disease1


Lyme disease is caused by bacteria (germs) that are spread by tiny, infected black-legged (deer) ticks.  Both people and animals can have Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is spread by the bite of an infected black-legged tick.  The tick usually must be attached to a person for at least 24 hours before it can spread the germ.  Black-legged ticks in Massachusetts can also carry the germs that cause babesiosis and human granulocytic anaplasmosis).  These ticks are capable of spreading more than one type of germ in a single bite.

Symptoms of early Lyme disease, described below, usually begin to appear from 3 to 30 days after being bitten by an infected tick.  If untreated, symptoms of late Lyme disease may occur from weeks to years after the initial infection.

Early stage (days to weeks): The most common early symptom is a rash (erythema migrans) where the tick was attached.  It often, but not always, starts as a small red area that spreads outward, clearing up in the center so it looks like a donut. Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, stiff neck, sore and aching muscles and joints, fatigue and swollen glands may also occur. Even though these symptoms may go away by themselves, without medical treatment, some people will get the rash again in other places on their bodies, and many will experience more serious problems. Treatment during the early stage prevents later, more serious problems.

Later stages (weeks to years): If untreated, people with Lyme disease can develop late-stage symptoms even if they never had a rash. The joints, nervous system and heart are most commonly affected.

  • About 60% of people with untreated Lyme disease get arthritis in their knees, elbows and/or wrists.  The arthritis can move from joint to joint and become chronic.
  • Many people who don’t get treatment develop nervous system problems.  These problems include meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord), facial weakness (Bell’s palsy) or other problems with nerves of the head, and weakness or pain (or both) in the hands, arms, feet and/or legs.  These symptoms can last for months, often shifting between mild and severe.
  • The heart also can be affected in Lyme disease, with slowing down of the heart rate and fainting.  The effect on the heart can be early or late.

People who are diagnosed with Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics.  Prompt treatment during the early stage of the disease prevents later, more serious problems.

1 all information from https://www.mass.gov/service-details/lyme-disease


contact your local health department, Mass. Dept. of Public Health at https://www.mass.gov/tick-borne-diseases or scan the QR code below. 

Tick QR Code