Spring Tick Borne Diseases Awareness

Spring Tick Borne Diseases Awareness 

With the onset of spring and warmer weather in the forecast, the Pike County Tick Borne Diseases Task Force would like to remind individuals that they are just as likely to encounter ticks in their yards and gardens, as they are when participating in outdoor activities. The task force reminds residents and visitors of proactive measures that can prevent tick-borne diseases (TBD) while enjoying the outdoors.  

Tick Prevention 
Preventative measures are a simple way to avoid contraction of TBDs. The task force recommends the following steps to help prevent tick bites: 

  • Wear light colored clothing to help spot ticks that have crawled onto you. 
  • Walk in the center of trails to avoid contact with grass or brush. 
  • Preform frequent, thorough tick checks after spending time on trails or in the great outdoors. 
  • To repel ticks, use products containing DEET for skin and Permethrin for clothes and gear or use natural oils that repel ticks.
  • Gear and pets should be checked for ticks before bringing into automobiles and/or home.
  • When home, tumble clothes in the dryer for 30 minutes to kill ticks.
  • Remove leaves, leaf litter and brush around lawns and houses.
  • Be mindful when outside for any reason such as taking out the trash or letting a pet in from a fenced in yard, etc. 

What Happens If You Get a Tick? 
If a tick does manage to attach itself to you, use fine tip tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. With even pressure, steadily pull upward, avoiding any twisting or jerking motions to remove the tick. Be sure to thoroughly clean the affected area following removal. 

There is the option to send the tick to a laboratory to determine if the tick is a disease transmitter. Basic tick testing is available free to Pennsylvania residents through East Stroudsburg University Wildlife DNA Laboratory. Individuals can send up to five ticks at a time to be tested for various TBDs including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Results are available within three business days of the lab receiving the sample. For more information on tick testing, visit www.ticklab.org. 

Tick-Borne Disease (TBD) Wellness Center 
The TBD Wellness Center is located within the Pike Family Health Center on Route 739, in Lords Valley. It is staffed by a “Lyme-literate” Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner with extensive experience in both evidence-based research and treatment modalities specific to TBD.  

Adult and pediatric patients (age 5 and up) are seen on Wednesdays and Thursdays by appointment only. Individuals who suspect they have Lyme disease may be seen for diagnostic testing and verification of a TBD. Additionally, patients who have already been diagnosed and are seeking advice for management of current symptoms are eligible.  

Patients must be established with a primary care provider. Pediatric patients must be up-to-date on immunizations. For appointment information, call 570-775-7100. 

About the TBD Task Force 
The Pike County TBD Task Force is focused on decreasing the number of tick-borne illnesses by building community awareness through education, support, and advocacy. The Task Force offers educational materials to help people prevent tick borne diseases and safely enjoy the great outdoors. Educational materials can be found on www.pikepa.org/tick.  
The Task Force meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 10:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room, 506 Broad Street, Milford, PA 18337, and via Zoom. New members are welcome.  
For more information on ticks, visit the Task Force website at www.pikepa.org/tick or contact Brian Snyder at bsnyder@pikepa.org or by phone 570-296-3500.