Be Tick Free in Ulster County



You Have the Power to Protect Your Family from Tick-Borne Diseases

  • Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily.
  • Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants.
  • Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors and check again once indoors.
  • Use insect repellent, according to label directions.
  • Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails.  Avoid contacting vegetation. 
  • Shower soon after being outdoors (ideally within 2 hrs.)

MOST IMPORTANTLY > Check everyone thoroughly for ticks, including pets, as soon as possible after being outdoors - and at the end of each day. Remove ticks promptly and properly.


If you are bitten by a tick:

  • Do not squeeze or crush the tick’s body which may cause it to empty its stomach contents before releasing.
  • Use pointed tweezers to grasp the ticks mouth parts as close to your skin where they insert.  Pull tick in a steady upward motion away from skin.
  • If parts of the tick remain in the skin, remove as you would a splinter.
  • Disinfect site and tweezers with soap and water, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.  Wash hands.
  • Record the date and location of the tick bite and contact your health care provider.  If you develop a rash or flu like symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately.
  • You may save the tick for species identification available through the Ulster County Department of Health.


Tick Check Routine:  

The goal is for everyone to make daily tick checks part of their grooming routine; just like brushing one's teeth, or any personal care routine that would never be missed.  A thorough check of body surfaces for ticks should be done multiple times per hour when in tick habitat, and multiple times per day. 


Tick Habitats:

To avoid ticks, walk in the center of trails and avoid vegetation.  Ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas.  However, you may come into contact with ticks during outdoor activities around your home or when walking through the grass but especially in vegetation such as tall grass, leaf litter, shrubs and even on rock walls. 


Found A Tick: 

If you found a tick attached to yourself or a loved one, you may wonder what to do next…

On a positive note, you are fortunate that you found the tick attached, as careful symptoms observation and early treatment can be initialized if necessary.

If you already removed the tick, hopefully the recommended tool, needle pointed tweezers, and proper removal techniques were utilized.  Remember to disinfect the removal tool and site of tick attachment.


How to Properly Remove a Tick:


It is very important to save your pest!  Bring it to your doctor’s office in a secure container.  They should observe it to determine the species of tick because treatment and testing determinations can be made based on this information.  The Ulster County Deptartment of Health can also provide tick identification.  The Ulster County Tick Identification Service will not tell you whether the tick is infected with disease-causing organisms.

It is critical to contact your health care provider immediately to address any treatment that may need to be started. 

It is important to consider that not every tick attachment results in illness because not every tick has disease-causing organisms.  In addition, if the germs are present, in most cases, it takes time for the germs to move from the tick into the host. 


Documented Transmission Times According to NYS DOH:

Powassan Viral Encephalitis or Deer Tick Virus

If removal of attached ticks occurs within 15 minutes, the risk of tick-borne infection is minimal.


If removal of attached ticks occurs within 12 hours, the risk of tick-borne infection is minimal.


If removal of attached ticks occurs within 36 hours, the risk of tick-borne infection is minimal.


If removal of attached ticks occurs within 24 hours, the risk of tick-borne infection is minimal.

Lyme disease

If removal of attached ticks occurs within 36 hours, the risk of tick-borne infection is minimal.


Ticks and some of the associated tick-borne illnesses among people living in the Hudson Valley and Ulster County area:


Black-legged tick, also known as Deer tick

 Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, *Powassian Viral  Encephalitis/Deer Tick Virus, Borrelia miyamotoi

Dog ticks

 Tick Paralysis,

 **Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Wood Chuck tick

 *Powassian Viral Encephalitis

Lone Star tick


* This is not a common disease in this area but some cases have occurred in the Hudson Valley.

**Ulster County has had only a handful of cases over many years and they may be travel related because cases are counted based on the zip code of where the person lives. 

 The most common tick-borne illness in Ulster County is Lyme disease.


Tick Testing:

People who have removed a tick often wonder if they should have it tested. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the testing of individual ticks is not useful because:

  • If the test shows that the tick contained disease-causing organisms, that does not necessarily mean that you have been infected
  • If you have been infected, you will probably develop symptoms before results of the tick test are available. You should not wait for tick testing results before beginning appropriate treatment
  • Negative results can lead to false assurance. For example, you may have been unknowingly bitten by a different tick that was infected.


Where to Test Ticks: **

**Disclaimer: The testing of ticks for the presence of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease has no role in the clinical diagnosis of tick-borne diseases. Generally, there is no insurance coverage for this service.

  • Tests performed on the ticks are not perfect and they do not test for all infections ticks may be carrying. Therefore, even with a negative result, people should still monitor themselves for the appearance of rash, fever or other unusual symptoms and immediately seek the advice of a health care provider should any symptoms occur.
  • If someone has been infected by a tick bite, symptoms may begin to occur even before the results of tick testing are available. People should not to wait for tick testing results before seeking medical advice should any symptoms develop.
  • A positive test on a tick is not an automatic indication that treatment is needed. A positive test indicates that the tick was infected but not that the tick was successful in spreading the infection to the person bitten. The longer a tick is attached to you, the greater the chance that it will spread infection. Discuss any positive test results with your health care provider.


More Helpful Links:


 University of Rhode Island - Tick Encounter Resource Center

 Ticks and Insect repellents: Deciding on their use


Tick Management Handbook:


Tick App:


Local Resources:  *Call first to verify meetings, time, date and place*



Mid-Ulster Lyme Support Group:

Meets the 4th Wednesday of the month, 7:00-8:30 pm, Hudson Valley Sudbury School, 84 Zena Road, Woodstock.

Contact March Gallagher (845) 705-2622. Email: marchgallagher[at]gmail[dot]com.


New Paltz Lyme Support Group:

Meets the 1st Monday of the month, 7:00-9:30 pm, 127 Springtown Rd., New Paltz.

Contact Beverly 646-258-9600 or BPhoenix4[at]gmail[dot]com  


Lyme Wellness Workshop Series:

Meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month, 12pm‐2pm, New Paltz Community Center. (by donation)

Contact Meredith Johnson (845)‐901‐2235 or lymewellness[at]gmail[dot]com


Stone Ridge Lyme Support Group:

Meets 1st Thurs. of the month, 6:30 PM at MAMA.

Contact Dawn 845-687-0307.




Mid-Hudson Lyme Disease Support Group, 2nd Wed. of each month, 7:30 PM, First Presbyterian Church, Route 44, Pleaseant Valley, NY 12569 (wheelchair accessible).

Call Rachel 845/229-8925 or Pat 845/889-4242.


Northern Dutchess Lyme Disease Support Group, 2st Thurs. of each month. First Baptist Church, Astor Dr, Rhinebeck NY.

Call Mary 845-758-8187.


Lyme in Orange.

Call Mike at 914/588-0370.


Ridgefield Lyme, CFS & FM Support Group, Meets 2nd Thursday each month 12 – 1:30 pm. Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association office, 90 East Ridge Avenue, Ridgefield, CT 06877.

More info email RLDTF[at]comcast[dot]net or call 203-241-2400.


Ridgefield Young Adult Support Group. Saturdays starting September 13-November 1. 12-1:30pm. Office of Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. 898 Ethan Allen Highway, Suite 6, Ridgefield, CT 06877.

To RSVP email Katy CTYouthlyme[at]gmail[dot]com. NO meeting in August.


Ridgefield Lyme Disease Support and Art Therapy, meets the last Sunday of the month, 2 – 4 pm, Ridgefield Town Hall Annex, 66 Prospect Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877.

You must RSVP to reserve space and confirm dates at RLDTF[at]comcast[dot]net or call Rita at 203-438-7591. NO meeting in August. 


New York City Lyme Support Group: 2nd Wednesday and 4th Monday 6:30-8:30PM, Phillips Ambulatory Care Center of Beth Israel, 10 Union Square East btw 14th & 15th St., 2nd floor Conference Center.

For information: