Maryland Ticks Coming Soon: Get Ready
In Maryland and specifically the Annapolis area, ticks begin to reappear now and will reach their most voracious feeding time in April to June. Read Evolve Medical Clinics quick summary.
How to remove a tick
- Use tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible.
- Pull upward – don’t twist or jerk the tick. If the mouth remains, try to remove with tweezers.
- If you can’t get the mouth easily, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- Next, clean the area and your hands with soap and water.
- Dispose of a live tick by placing in a sealed bag, wrapping in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Do NOT crush a tick with your fingers.
- Other ways to remove ticks, such as using a hot match head or painting the tick with nail polish, gasoline, or other materials, are not advised. Such treatments can cause the tick to release more fluids back into the bite.
- If you can’t remove it safely, swing by an urgent care for a quick removal (you can schedule online here).
What to do after a tick bite
Lyme disease is not usually transmitted within the first 48 to 72 hours of tick attachment. The likelihood of transmission is increased if the tick is engorged and/or has been attached for at least 72 hours.
For adults, all following criteria must be met for prophylactic antibiotics:
• Attached tick is a deer tick
• Tick is estimated to have been attached for ≥36 hours
• Antibiotic is started is within 72 hours of tick removal
• Local infection rate is ≥20% (Annapolis, Maryland qualifies)
If you are unsure how long the tick was there or if you should or should not take medication, please feel free to call Evolve (844-322-4222) or schedule a visit.
What are the symptoms of tick disease such as Lyme?
The most common symptoms of tick-related illnesses are:
- Headache, fatigue, and muscle aches
- Rash: Depends on whether Lyme, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis or Tularemia (see below)
- The rash of Lyme Disease occurs in 75-80% of people, usually at the site of the tick bite.
- Rash shows up between 3-30 days
- Rash is usually a circular rash (“bullseye” but may be solid too!)
- Rash is warm, but not usually painful.
- Some people develop additional rashes in other areas.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF)
Rash can vary greatly
- About 10% of people with RMSF don’t get a rash.
- A red-purple rash begins 2-5 days after onset of fever as small, flat, pink, non-itchy spots on wrists, forearms, and ankles and spreads to the trunk. It can also be on the palms and soles.
- Rash occurs in only 35-60% of patients with the infection.
Ulcer forms at the site of the tick bite. Lymph glands of the armpit or groin may swell considerably.
- Rash occurs in only 30% of adults (up to 60% of children)
- Rash is red to pink in small pin point areas with some areas forming more patches
If you have been bitten by a tick and experience any of the symptoms described above, we encourage you to contact your doctor or schedule a visit with Evolve immediately (schedule on-line here).
How to prevent tick bites
- Ticks CAN be present all year.
- Baby ticks (nymphs) go on a feeding frenzy April to June: Be extra vigilant
- Avoid wooded/bushy areas with high grass.
- Walk in the center of trails–brushing against bushes/grasses is the easiest way to pick up a tick.
- Use DEET (20-30%) on skin and clothing
- Use Permethrin on clothing and gear (It remains protective through several washings.)
- Pre-treated clothing is available and may be protective longer.
Find and remove ticks ASAP
- Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours)
- Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror.
- Parents: check kids under arms, ears, belly button, behind knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.
- Examine gear and pets. Ticks can hitch-hike home on clothes and pets.
- Great tip: Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill remaining ticks