I’ve been bitten. What do I do?

The Tick Program recommends following the procedures and advice from the Center for Disease control outlined in this link: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/pdfs/FS_TickBite.pdf. To their excellent advice we would add a few Vineyard specific caveats.


1. Since we live in an area where Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are common, we heartily endorse their suggestion that you seek medical advice if you have a deer tick that has been attached for more than 36 hours or is engorged or begun to “swell up”. We also endorse the preventative practice of taking the single dose of two doxycycline, which has been shown to reduce the risk of Lyme disease considerably 

2. Much less is known about lone star ticks and how long they need to be attached before they can transmit any diseases. You may want to consult a doctor if you find a lone star tick attached. Click HERE for help with identifying our three common species of ticks. You can also take a photo of the tick and email it to Richard Johnson at ticksmv@gmail.com and I will try to identify it.

3.Most people we know do not see a doctor when they are bitten by a dog tick, since dog ticks rarely transmit disease organisms to humans. If you decide not to seek medical advice, you should still monitor yourself closely and note any unusual symptoms. A small percentage of dog ticks do carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a potentially serious disease if not treated quickly

4. We suggest that when you remove an attached tick you tape it to an index card and note the date it was removed or tape it to your calendar on the date it was removed.

5. We agree with the CDC recommendations about tick testing. However, if you want to have your tick tested click HERE.