Tick Bites Can Cause Disease
Several species of ticks spread disease. Some of these species, such as the black-legged deer tick, are active and can transmit disease year-round in Ohio while other species are generally active in Ohio from early spring until late fall.
Diseases spread by ticks include: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, and Ehrlichosis. These diseases are transmitted only by the bite of an infected tick. Ticks become infected by taking a blood meal from an infected animal. An infected animal or person cannot pass the infection on to another animal or person. When a tick bites a person or an animal it generally remains on the skin for a period of time. Be sure to check yourself and loved ones after spending time in ticks' habitat (wooded or weedy areas).
Reduce the Risk of Disease from a Tick Bite -
Tick Bite Prevention for Humans:
- Avoid likely tick-infested areas (i.e. wooded or weedy areas).
- Tuck your pants into sock tops and boots.
- Wear light colored clothing to make it easier to find crawling ticks.
- Use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient and follow the directions on the package.
- Check yourself, your children and pets frequently for ticks.
- Bathe or shower after exposure to tick habitats to wash off and more easily find ticks that may be crawling on you. Preferable within two hours.
Tick Bite Prevention for Dogs:
Dogs are at risk for tick-borne diseases and they may carry infected ticks into the home. Infected dogs are not contagious to humans.
- Keep yard and outdoor play areas well mowed to discourage tick infestation.
- Treatments are available to control ticks on dogs. Consult your veterinarian and always follow label instructions.
Remove the Tick:
If the tick is attached to the skin of a person or animal, remove it as soon as possible to reduce risk of infection, but use caution:
- Shield fingers with a paper towel or use tweezers. Grasp the tick close to the skin. With steady pressure, pull the tick straight up and out.
- Do not twist or jerk the tick. This may cause the mouth parts to be left in the skin.
- Do not crush or puncture the tick.
- Do not use a flame or cigarette to remove a tick. This may cause the tick to burst and increase disease risk.
- After removing a tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash hands with soap and water.
Links to More Information:
Tick Spot Identification Chart
Summary of 2011 Tick-Borne Diseases in Ohio
Blacklegged Ticks Becoming More Prevalent in Ohio