Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

With some planning and the right protection, you can get the upper hand with ticks, mosquitoes, biting flies, and spiders.

If you do get bitten, remember that most bug bites can be painful, itchy, red, and swollen -- but they are usually also harmless.


A bite from one of these small blood-sucking pests is usually not a big deal, but a bite from the wrong one can be. Ticks can cause diseases such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a bacterial infection that occurs mostly in the South Atlantic region in the U.S.

The most worrisome areas for Lyme disease in the U.S. are the East Coast, North Central states, and Northern California. Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted by the bite of infected deer ticks (also called black-legged ticks) except on the Pacific coast, where it is spread by the western black-legged tick.

Untreated, Lyme disease can cause serious health problems such as arthritis, meningitis, facial paralysis (known as Bell’s palsy), or other nerve problems such as foot drop, heart problems such as heart irregularities, and visual problems. But getting a prescription antibiotic from your doctor soon after a tick bite can prevent these problems.

Ticks don’t transmit disease until they’ve been attached and feeding for at least 24 hours. So finding and removing them early is the best way to protect against bacteria and viruses.

Ticks live in brushy, wooded, or grassy areas, including grassy dunes. But you don’t have to go hiking or to the beach to run into them.

“Lyme disease is a problem in cities and suburbs in the northeastern United States,” says Daniel Strickman, PhD, national program leader in veterinary, medical, and urban entomology for the USDA Agricultural Research Service. “People value living near forested areas and they value deer, so there’s a lot of human contact with tick habitats even in the cities.”

The most common early symptom of Lyme disease is a bull's- eye rash with a reddish edge at the site of the bite. Flu-like symptoms, occurring within a month of the bite, are also common. Even if these symptoms go away on their own, however, you can still experience more serious health problems.

High season for tick bites is April to October, with most bites occurring in May and June. However, you can get tick bites any time when the temperature is above freezing.