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Military Health System

Tick-Borne Illnesses

Ticks are generally found near the ground, in brushy or wooded areas. They can’t jump or fly. Instead, they climb tall grasses or shrubs and wait for a potential host to brush against them. When this happens, they climb onto the host and seek a site for attachment.

Ticks can be infected with bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Tick-Borne Illnesses A-Z

Prevention

To prevent tick bites, it is recommended that you:

  • Treat clothing and gear with insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undercanone.
  • Treat family pets for ticks as recommended by a veterinarian.
  • Check for ticks daily, especially if you've been in a wooded or brushy area.
  • Shower soon after being outdoors.

Safe Tick Removal

  1. Grasp the tick as close to skins surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk!
  3. After removing, clean the area thoroughly with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

For additional information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Last Updated: July 12, 2022
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