Raid

LYME DISEASE: SYMPTOMS, TREATMENT, & PREVENTION

Lyme disease is transmitted through the bites of infected ticks. Find out where ticks live, how to remove ticks, and how to help protect your family from this insect-borne illness

An adult tick walking on a blade of grass towards a human hand.

WHAT IS LYME DISEASE?

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The disease is transmitted through the bites of certain types of infectedticks, such as the deer tick, which is commonly known as a black-legged tick. Arm yourself with the information you need to fight these bloodsucking pests.

LYME DISEASE PREVENTION

Reducing your family’s exposure to ticks is your best defense against Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses like Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Help protect yourself and your loved ones by following these Lyme disease prevention tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:1

  • Avoid grassy, wooded, and brushy areas where ticks like to hide. And be sure to walk in the center of the trails to help reduce your exposure to ticks.

  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin on exposed skin and clothing. Get tips forhow to apply bug repellent on kids and babies.

  • Buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear. You can also treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin.

  • Check your clothes, gear, and body for ticks after spending time in tick-infested areas, including your own backyard.

  • Remove ticks attached to your body immediately. See below to learn how to remove a tick.

  • Shower within two hours of coming inside. This has been shown to effectively reduce the risk of Lyme disease.

  • Ask your veterinarian about tick-prevention products for your dogs and cats.

  • Learn more aboutpest control and pets.

Tip icon
WHERE IS LYME DISEASE MOST COMMON?2,3

If you live or spend time in wooded or grassy areas where ticks carrying Lyme disease thrive, you're more likely to contract the disease. According to the World Health Organization, Lyme disease is most common in: .

  • Asia

  • Northwestern, Central, and Eastern Europe

  • The United States, particularly in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and upper Midwest regions

LYME DISEASE SYMPTOMS4

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary widely, depending on the stage of the infection.

EARLY SYMPTOMS4

In the early stages of the disease (3 to 30 days after a tick bite) the symptoms of Lyme disease may include:

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Rash

  • Muscle and joint pain

  • Swollen lymph nodes

LATER SYMPTOMS4

Within days to months after being bitten by an infected tick, Lyme disease symptoms may include:

  • Severe headaches

  • Neck stiffness

  • Arthritis

  • Nerve pain

  • Tingling, numbness, or shooting pains in the hands or feet

  • Periodic pain in muscles, joints, tendons, and bones

  • Additional rashes on the body

  • Facial palsy

  • Dizziness or shortness of breath

  • Short-term memory problems

  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord

  • Heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat

Always consult your physician if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Tip icon
LYME DISEASE RASH
A bull's-eye rash manifested at the site of a tick bite, on a woman’s posterior upper arm.

Approximately 70 to 80 percent of people with Lyme disease experience a bullseye-like rash called an erythema migrans (EM) rash.4

LYME DISEASE TREATMENT5

The good news is that most people with Lyme disease recover if treated with oral antibiotics within a few weeks of infection. People with more advanced forms of the disease may require intravenous antibiotics.

HOW TO REMOVE TICKS
A hand using an instrument to remove a tick from a human head. 

If you find a tick attached to yourself, your family members, or yourpets, try not to panic! However, it is important to take quick action because your chance of getting Lyme disease is reduced if the tick is attached to the skin for less than 24 hours.6 Just follow these easy tips to remove a tick and help protect your loved ones from ticks that may carry Lyme disease:7

  • Grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible using a fine-tipped tweezers.

  • Pull the tick upward slowly and firmly. Don’t twist or jerk the tick because this can cause part of its mouth to break off and remain in the skin.

  • If part of the mouth breaks off in the skin, try to remove it with the tweezers. If you can’t remove the mouth easily with tweezers, that’s OK. Just leave it alone and let the skin heal.

  • After removing the tick, clean your hands and the tick bite area thoroughly with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

  • Never crush a tick with your fingers after removal to avoid infecting yourself with tick-borne disease, such as Lyme disease.8 Instead, dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, flushing it down the toilet, placing it in a sealed bag/container, or wrapping it tightly in tape before putting it in the trash.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LYME DISEASE

To learn more ways to help safeguard your family and pets from Lyme disease, visithttps://www.cdc.gov/lyme/.


FIND SOLUTIONS FOR TICKS

Explore our products designed to help you protect your family and get tough in the fight against ticks that carry Lyme disease.


SOURCES