Tick-Borne Disease Ecology: Research Program of Freehold Township
About Us Tick-Borne Diseases Of New Jersey Tick Distribution, Biology, Behavior & Ecology Assessing The Risk Of Disease Transmission Protection and Prevention Tick Management Strategies Publications Links To Partner Programs PUBLIC

Find information about the ecology of ticks and disease transmission, protecting yourself and family from the major tick-borne diseases in New Jersey, and how to recognize tick habitats and reduce your exposure around the home. 


The Freehold Area Health Department Tick-borne Diseases Program would like to remind the public of the potential for Lyme Disease transmission in this province to both humans and domestic animals. With warmer weather starting, Lyme Disease season is here.

Lyme Disease is caused by a spirochete bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi) which is spread through a bite from infected ticks. In New Jersey, the tick most commonly associated with infections of Lyme Disease is the blacklegged tick (also known as the deer tick) (Ixodes scapularis). The deer tick is found in the shrubby understory of the forest and at the edges between woodland and high grassy areas. Ticks do not jump or fly—they crawl up vegetation and wait for an animal to brush against them. They then climb upon the animal and insert their mouth parts. They will feed on blood for 3 to 5 days. Following a blood meal, the tick swells to more than four times its normal size and then drops to the ground.

While appearing to be a mild disease initially, Lyme Disease can result in serious medical complications in humans if not treated. Symptoms usually occur one to two weeks after being bitten by an infected tick, beginning with an enlarging red area of the skin at the site of the bite. Other early symptoms include fever, headache, neck stiffness, malaise and general muscle and joint aches and pain. If not treated, the disease can spread to affect other areas of the body such as the nerves and heart.

You can reduce your exposure to tick bites by wearing protective clothing (long sleeves and legs covered), applying insect repellant containing DEET when working and recreating in tick habitat.

If you find a tick attached to you, you should remove it carefully with a pair of tweezers, being cautious not to leave pieces behind which would likely cause infection. Persons who believe they have found a tick on themselves or their animal are encouraged to place the tick in a small container with moist cotton and send it to health officials for proper testing. This practice will help us understand the size of the tick population and the extent of infection is those ticks.


The Freehold Area Health Department announced this week publication of the results of its three-year study...more
The Freehold Area Health Department and the Monmouth County Mosquito Extermination Commission announced... more
This pamphlet provides a summary of published research on managing exposure to ticks. It includes information on tick biology, ecology, and behavior..
This pamphlet provides basic information about signs and symptoms, transmission, tick biology and ecology, and the current status of tick-borne diseases in New Jersey.