Wednesday, May 1, 2024 - 12:00 pm Categories:
Public Health

With the first ticks of the year already being spotted in the state, North Dakota Health and Human Services (HHS) is asking North Dakotans to be aware of ticks and the diseases they carry including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Ticks live in grassy, brushy or wooded areas. They can be active when temperatures are above freezing with little to no snow cover. To prevent tick bites, take the following steps:

Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter and walk in the center of trails.

Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent. EPA’s search tool can help North Dakotans find the right product.

Check body and clothing for ticks after coming indoors. When doing a body check, search in and around the hair, in and around the ears, under the arms, inside the belly button, around the waist, between the legs and the back of the knees. Be sure to check your child, too.

Check pets daily for ticks and talk to a veterinarian about best tick prevention products.

Keep yards mowed and litter free. Ticks can be found around homes and neighborhoods.

If a tick is spotted on the body and is attached to the skin, prompt removal is important to lower the risk of tickborne disease transmission. Use a fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick and pull upward with steady, even pressure. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and dispose of the tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape or flushing it down the toilet.

Contact a health care provider if any of these symptoms appear 30 days or less after a tick bite:

  • Rash,
  • Fever,
  • Fatigue,
  • Headache,
  • Muscle pain and/or
  • Joint swelling and pain.

In 2023, North Dakota Tick Surveillance through HHS recorded 858 American dog ticks, three deer ticks and one lone star tick between April and August. This data is recorded with the help of volunteers across the state. Ticks are submitted for identification and testing from April until November. North Dakotans can also help by sending pictures and location information about ticks they find by emailing

Tick identification and surveillance helps HHS identify the types of ticks and tickborne diseases present in North Dakota.

For more information on tick prevention and tickborne diseases, visit