Tick and Mosquito  Disease


Tick-borne Disease

Massachusetts Department of Public Health                                                                                                                                                                          Both black-legged (deer) ticks and dog ticks are found throughout Massachusetts and may spread different disease-causing germs when they bite you. The most common tick-borne diseases in Massachusetts are Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis. Other diseases that are more rare, but still occur, are Tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Borrelia miyamotoi, and Powassan virus. Tick-borne illnesses can be very severe and taking steps to avoid tick bites is important. Please click here for more information on tick-borne diseases and how to prevent them.

University of Massachusetts TickReport
The University of Massachusetts Laboratory of Medical Zoology provides tick testing service to public individuals and agencies seeking more information about the risk of dangerous pathogens. Find out more or send your tick to college! https://www.tickreport.com/
The Centers for Disease Control website has data on tick-borne disease found in Amherst including Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis, as well as emerging tick-borne disease.


Mosquito-borne Disease
West Nile Virus (WNV) detected in Hadley mosquitoes.  August, 2019

Mosquitoes carrying the WNV virus have been identified in Hadley, and both WNV and EEE have been identified in other Massachusetts communities. The Amherst Health Department is urging all residents to take precautions regardless of where they live.

WWW and EEE mosquitoes are something we expect to see every summer and fall in this area and everyone should take steps to prevent disease by using mosquito repellent, avoiding the outdoors during peak mosquito times, and emptying standing water around their homes.

WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state, and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

Take steps to protect yourself, family and community.

Avoid Mosquito Bites
Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient (DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535) according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets, and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Drain Standing Water 
Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change the water in birdbaths frequently.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home                                                                                                                                                                     Install or repair screens. Keep mosquitos outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors. 

Information about WNV and EEE and current risk levels in our community can be found on the MDPH website at http://www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito