The Blacklegged Tick, also called Deer Tick, is abundant throughout Massachusetts. They can carry the organisms that cause Lyme disease, babesiosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), and Powassan virus. While tick-borne illnesses can be very serious if untreated, they are preventable:
The highest risk of disease is during summer months, May-August.
Deer ticks can be active all year long. Nymph Stage deer ticks are active from early May through early August. They are about the size of a poppy seed, have a bite that is difficult to feel, carry the highest risk, and are responsible for the majority of tick-borne diseases.
Need more information? The University of Rhode Island TickEncounter Resource Center provides extensive information on tick identification, tick habitat, seasonal activity, disease prevention, environmental controls and tick testing.
Ticks can be tested for a small fee to see which disease causing microbes the tick may be carrying at the University of Massachusetts Laboratory of Medical Zoology
The Middlesex Tick Task Force was formed in 2013 and is comprised of representatives from Acton, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland, Westford, and Weston. The group's goals are to increase awareness of tick-borne diseases in our towns, to educate residents about effective prevention measures, and to promote inter-town collaboration about these diseases in Middlesex County.
Middlesex Tick Task Force 2016 Community Forum
Ticks and Mosquito Diseases from A to Z (Anaplasmosis to Zika)
Massachusetts Lyme Disease Commission
The 2013 Massachusetts Lyme Disease Commission (PDF) report states "The scourge of Lyme disease in the Commonwealth has been described as having reached epidemic proportions and as endemic in all of Massachusetts. Regions of particularly high incidence include Cape Cod and the Islands, as well as some areas in Norfolk, Middlesex, Essex, and southern Berkshire Counties."