Here is some advice on dealing with ticks, culled from various email postings.
Check Yale University's tick engorgement chart It may help you determine how long the tick was attached and the chances of transmission if the tick is infected. It says that 95% of Lyme disease is caused by the tiny nymphs that fit on the head of a pin. If you need treatment, ask a doctor for a prescription as early as possible. Standard treatment seems to be "a single dose of 200mg Doxycycline is the preventative dose IF you get treatment within 72 hours of the initial bite. If longer than 72 hours, a longer course of treatment is required."
Also note the color of the ticks' legs.
Plenty of info at the CDC website: Center for Disease Control & Prevention
They recommend DEET (20%-30%) on skin and permethrin 0.5% on clothing.
They also recommend showering ASAP after coming indoors (within 2 hours) to wash off and see ticks. Use a mirror for hard to check places and check children's hair carefully.
Toss your clothes in the dryer on high heat for an hour to kill ticks.
Beware ticks riding in on clothing, pets and equipment!
There were 5,000 confirmed Lyme disease cases in MA in 2012. See a Boston Globe article from 7/15/13 A Minuscule Foe, A Massive Public Health Challenge
Prevention: Spray your clothing with permithrin Check for ticks everyday Toss your clothes in a hot dryer for up to an hour when you come in. Dry heat kills ticks. Washing doesn't.
Follow this RI Tick Encounter Risk Calculator, with Resources and Customized Action Plan TickEncounter
Are ticks around me carrying diseases? Check this site for test results of ticks in your area or to get a tick tested (there's a cost to that).
Question: How do we protect kids and adults form ticks?
Answer: (from Kevin J) One solution is to spray Permethrin on the items of clothing worn by family members where they may be exposed to ticks. Surveys have shown that ticks are rarely found in yards on mowed lawns but are often found in the leaf litter where yards meet woods.
Permethrin is the active ingredient in Advantix for pets as well as tick-repellent clothing and sprays. A video about how to apply Sawyer permethrin spray to CLOTHING (NOT SKIN) can be found at Sawyer Spray , and the product can be purchased at Amazon and REI. They say a spray lasts six washings. The video suggests applying it to almost everything, but I'll stick with hiking boots, pants and maybe socks.
If you have quite a few items of clothing to spray you could purchase 10% Permethrin liquid like Permethrin liquid (avoiding those with excessive petroleum distillates) and dilute it from 10% to the 0.5% of the Sawyer spray (per Sawyer instructions).
Alternatively, you can send items of clothing to be treated with a Permethrin treatment that's good for 70 washings for $8-$10 per item. For details see the answer to the second question at TickEncounter.org .
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station lists Permethrin as a common ingredient in home-owner applied yard tick sprays.
However, some tick species in Florida have developed resistance to Permethrin ( Resistant Ticks). Permethrin is the active ingredient in Advantix for pets as well as tick-repellent clothing and sprays.
I'd expect that broad spraying of Permethrin would lead to Permethrin-resistent ticks, so probably yard spraying with Permethrin should be avoided.
The state of Connecticut's tick management handbook Managing Ticks points out that the "white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus, is the principal animal carrying the pathogens that cause Lyme disease, human anaplasmosis (i.e., ehrlichiosis) and human babesiosis. (...) In one study, a single mouse was estimated to infect as many ticks as 12 chipmunks or 221 voles. (...) By contrast, squirrels have a lower Lyme disease reservoir potential. (...) Dense vegetation and ground cover plants like pachysandra adjacent to homes provide cover for rodents as they forage for food." Foxes and snakes significantly reduce tick prevalence. Take heart if you have them!