Lots of good information here. (Ewww about the spaghetti though.) Having worked in a doctor's office in Massachusetts where we saw a huge number of patients with tick bites and with Lyme disease, I would add a couple additional points:
-- Conventional wisdom says you have to have a tick on you for 24-48 hrs before you can get Lyme from it. However, there are documented cases of having the tick for only a few hours and still getting sick. This is because (yuck), as soon as they find the spot where they are going to attach, they drill into your skin and insert their spit, which is an anti-coagulant, and which contains whatever bacteria is in their bodies. If they are still crawling around, you are safe. If they are attached, you're not.
-- Unfortunately there is no safe time of year. I have removed ticks from patients right through December, January, February, and certainly all through the warmer months.
-- The two pills of doxycycline can be helpful but is no guarantee. No studies have been done to show if it prevents Lyme or not. Also, doxycycline does not treat or prevent some of the co-infections that ticks carry such as Babesia. Be sure to get tested for Lyme and co-infections 4 weeks after the tick bite (it takes that long for antibodies to reach a testable level) to see if you got an infection and then be sure it is fully treated. Also, make sure you get treated during that 4 weeks before testing, if you have: a bull's eye rash at the tick bite, or any rash on any part of your body, a fever, onset of joint or muscle pain or fatigue.
-- Looking at maps to see where Lyme is most prevalent won't keep you safe. It is now pretty much everywhere, worldwide. Certainly it is anywhere in North America where there are deer populations, one of the vectors for Lyme.
-- HERE'S THE GOOD NEWS: If you want to stay safe, you can make your own tick prevention clothing by spraying Permethrin onto clothes that you wear while out in the woods -- pants, socks, sneakers, etc. Wearing light
colored clothes helps you to see ticks crawling on your clothes before they can get to your skin. See this article explaining everything you need to know about permethrin pretreating: https://www.consumerreports.org/inse...othing-safely/
And do thorough tick checks after every outing.
We aren't going to let those darn bugs keep us out of the woods!!