Ticks and Tick-borne Disease

Note: This information is now on our Insect Repellent Page 7/29/20
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has clarified their guidance regarding the use of personal insect repellent at school or school-sponsored events. Personal Insect repellants are not governed by laws regarding the use of pesticides on school grounds and are not considered medications.  Therefore the use of a personal insect repellant at school by a student only requires parent/guardian permission for use. Students may apply insect repellents themselves or request assistance from a staff member. It is strongly recommended that aerosol insect repellant is not used in schools.  If students require assistance from staff, such staff should limit the number of students they assist to minimize their exposure (one person should not apply repellant to an entire class), wear gloves and wash their hands after use. Additional information on the safe use of insect repellents can be found in the NYSCSH Tick and Tickborne Disease Toolkit.

NYSCSH Tick and Tick-borne Disease Toolkit
In 2018, The NYSCSH and NYSED collaborated with the NYSDOH, NYS DEC, NYS Library and other organizations to create The Tick and Tick-borne Disease Resource Toolkit. You can view all of the organizations involved by clicking on the Reviewer List provided here.

Tick removal in school requires a policy by the Medical Director for a school nurse to remove the tick, as well as parent/guardian consent and notification and recommendation for follow up care. These resources are located on the Medical Director page. We encourage the school nurses to inform their Medical Directors of these important resources. (10/2019)

CDC Resources 

Tickborne Diseases of the US: A Reference Manual for Health Care Providers, Fifth Edition 52 Pages (CDC, 2018)

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation- Pesticide Management for Schools, Day Care Centers and Parents

Be Tick Free Public Safety Web page- Provides methods to reduce exposure to ticks and offers information on personal protection using pesticides with a link to the NYS Pesticide Administration Database (NYSPAD) to search for personal insect repellents that are currently registered in NYS.

Pesticide Prohibition on Grounds at Schools and Day Care Centers-Under amendments to the State Education Law (Section 409-k) and Social Services Law (Section 390-g), no school or daycare center can apply pesticides to any playgrounds, turf, or athletic or playing fields. The requirements are administered by the State Education Department for schools and by the Office of Children and Family Services for daycare centers. Contact those agencies for information and answers to questions on the prohibition. Contact information is provided in NYSDEC Guidance. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation) Note: Individual use of insect repellents by students is permissible with parent permission and appropriate safety precautions on the method and location of the application.


NYS Education Department

Amendment to Education Law Section 1. Section 305 added a new subdivision 55  in relation to an education and awareness program on tick identification and protection. (June 3, 2015)

Tick and Tick-borne Disease Education In Schools Memo-This memo provides4/22/2021 information regarding the collaboration of the NYS Education Department, NYS Department of Health, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Library, and other expert organizations to bring awareness, education, and resources to promote the education of students, families, and schools on the prevention of tick and tick-borne diseases. (5/29/2018)

NYSDOH Resources 

Tick and Insect Repellents: Deciding On Their Use- Fact sheet available in English and Spanish (NYSDOH, 5/2015)

Lyme Disease Resource Page-  Contains video and steps for tick removal, posters and fact sheets on tickborne diseases (NYSDOH, Revised 3/2019)

NYS Integrated Pest  Management- Cornell University

Don't Get Ticked NY- Offers over 35 resources and a school-specific link related to ticks and tick-borne diseases including FAQs, Fact Sheets, Videos, Infographics and a school IPM blog. (NYS Cornell IPM-College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Updated 8/2019)


Ticks and Schools-provides basic information about ticks,  management checklists, fact sheets and other resources on ticks including Tick Safety in Schools   

See also: Insect Repellent

Page updated