Because infection does not occur until a tick has been attached for at least 24 hours, a thorough daily tick check can be an effective first-line defense.
Be aware that the ticks are very small, although they are larger when engorged with blood.
If you spend time outdoors in areas inhabited by deer ticks, wear shoes, long pants tucked into socks or pant legs, and long sleeves.
Use insect repellent with 20%-30% DEET around your ankles, other areas of exposed skin, and clothes. Follow directions carefully.
If you work or walk in brushy areas or woods, check regularly for ticks; they are easier to see against light clothing. Check especially around the armpits, groin, scalp, belt line, neck and head. Check pets often, as well.
If possible, avoid tick-infested areas, particularly in May, June, and July.
If you're in tick-infested areas, walk in the center of trails to avoid overgrown grass and leaf litter.
If you do find a deer tick on your skin, remove it immediately.
Not everyone develops all of the following symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis, arthritis of the spine. What you experience depends on the severity of the condition:
Stiffness and pain in the lower back, buttocks, and hips upon waking in the morning or after a period of inactivity
Back pain relieved by movement and exercise
Difficulty bending the spine
Pain in the hips and difficulty walking
Pain in the heels and soles of the feet
Pain in the jaw, the temporomandib...
If you have been bitten by a tick, call your health care provider. Antibiotics may be given to prevent Lyme disease. However, antibiotics are usually only given when the tick has been identified as a deer tick, has been attached for at least 36 hours and you have been in a region where there is a high risk of contracting Lyme disease.