Ticks

Brown and black tick on green leaf.

Ticks are present on the islands and can carry bacteria and viruses that can cause disease in humans, including Lyme disease.

Disease Signs and Symptoms

Human symptoms of tick-borne illness usually appear 1 to 2 weeks after the tick bite and include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Headache and muscle aches
  • Rash

Lyme disease symptoms also include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Red expanding circular rash, body aches, or swollen lymph nodes
  • Joint pain that can last for years after infection

Prevention and Control

Reducing exposure to ticks is the best prevention method, especially in warmer months, when ticks are most active. To help prevent tick-borne illness:

  • Hike in the center of trails
  • Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Wear Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended repellent
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing permethrin
  • Carefully inspect your body, clothing, and pets for ticks after recreating
  • Bathe within two hours to wash ticks off your skin before they bite

Tips for Finding and Removing Ticks

  • Bathe as soon as possible to wash off and easily find ticks
  • Conduct a full-body check for ticks
    • Use a mirror
    • Parents should check their children for ticks
  • Examine your gear and your pets
  • Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour

Testing and Treatment

Antibiotics are effective in treating bacterial tick-borne illnesses and should be used if an infection is diagnosed.

More Information

Visit the CDC for more information.

Last updated: March 1, 2018

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