Lyme disease, spread by ticks, is prevalent. The most common carrier is the deer tick, which is about the size of a poppy seed. Take precautions when going in the woods and fields. Use insect repellent, dress in light-colored clothing, roll pant cuffs into socks, wear long sleeves and a hat. Inspect pets that roam daily.

Insect repellents that contain DEET are quite effective against ticks. Follow the label instructions for use and application. Products containing 15% or less DEET are recommended for children, but products containing DEET should not be used on infants.

If you notice a tick bite or any bite around which a redness forms in the shape of a bull’s-eye target, or if you have flu-like symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

Another tickborne disease in this area is ehrlichiosis. Symptoms include fever, headache, chills, malaise, muscle and joint pain, nausea, and vomiting. Acute weight loss, low platelet count, and a low white blood cell count can also occur.