Stay Informed and Protected: Ticks and Lyme Disease in South Central PA

As South Central Pennsylvania residents eagerly embrace the great outdoors during warmer months, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks posed by ticks and the transmission of Lyme disease. Understanding these tiny yet dangerous pests and taking preventive measures can safeguard you and your loved ones from this prevalent and concerning health issue.

Facts about Ticks and Lyme Disease:

Ticks are small arachnids that thrive in wooded areas, tall grasses, and even our own backyards. They can attach themselves to humans and animals, feeding on blood and potentially transmitting harmful pathogens. One of the most common diseases associated with tick bites is Lyme disease, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.

Lyme disease can manifest in various symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose without proper medical attention. Common signs include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic circular rash known as erythema migrans, which resembles a “bull’s-eye” target. If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to severe complications affecting the joints, heart, and nervous system.

Prevention is Key:

To protect yourself and your family from tick bites and Lyme disease, consider the following preventive measures:

  1. Use Tick Repellent: Apply an EPA-approved tick repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or permethrin before heading outdoors. Follow the instructions on the product label for safe and effective use.
  2. Wear Protective Clothing: When venturing into tick-prone areas, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and closed-toe shoes. Tucking pants into socks can also prevent ticks from crawling up your legs.
  3. Perform Tick Checks: After spending time outdoors, thoroughly check your body and clothing for ticks. Don’t forget to examine hard-to-reach areas, such as underarms, behind knees, and the scalp.
  4. Create a Tick-Free Zone: Keep grass trimmed, remove leaf litter, and clear tall grasses around your home. Consider installing a barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to reduce tick presence.
  5. Check Your Pets: Ticks can hitch a ride on your pets and make their way into your home. Regularly inspect your furry companions for ticks and consult with your veterinarian about tick preventive treatments.

PA Tick Research Lab Offers Free Testing:

In the unfortunate event of a tick bite, the Pennsylvania Tick Research Lab provides an essential service for South Central PA residents. The lab offers free tick testing for the presence of Lyme disease-causing bacteria. By visiting, you can request a testing kit and find detailed instructions on how to collect and send the tick securely.

If you find a tick attached to your skin, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Gently pull upward with steady pressure, ensuring you remove the entire tick. Place the tick in a cleaned zip-locked bag and mail it to the PA Tick Research Lab promptly. This service can provide valuable information to guide your medical decisions and promote early treatment if necessary.

In conclusion, being informed and proactive is crucial in the fight against ticks and Lyme disease in South Central Pennsylvania. Arm yourself with knowledge about tick prevention, practice regular tick checks, and promptly seek medical attention if you suspect a tick bite. Take advantage of the free testing services offered by the PA Tick Research Lab to stay vigilant and protect your health while enjoying the great outdoors. Together, we can create a safer environment and reduce the risk of Lyme disease transmission in our community.


Ann Marie Moore obituary 1944-2023

Ann is a lifelong member of St. John Lutheran Church in Fairfield, and a member and past president of AORN (Association of periOperative Registered Nurses).

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