Time to Up Your Tick IQ

Produced by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Zoonotic Disease Program (ZDP).

Tis the season for ticks. I went for a stroll on a mowed path through a local meadow three days ago and picked up 3 American dog ticks about 6mm in size. I just came back from mountain biking and somehow picked up another American dog tick about 3mm in size. These arthropods are out in their habitat actively questing for a host to take a blood meal and maybe transmit a disease like Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, or several other serious pathogens. Read on and find out how to minimize your chance of being bitten.

Ohio now has five medically important ticks (Blacklegged, American dog, Asian longhorned, Lonestar and Gulf coast) that you might be exposed to on a daily basis depending on your location in the state and the kind of work you perform.

While most growers likely work from a tractor or within a planted field with little tick habitat, walking across grassy lanes between fields or walking through a cover cropped field can expose you several types of ticks (American Dog, Blacklegged, Lonestar). Working with livestock can expose you to other types of ticks (Asian longhorned, Gulf coast which has only been found on cattle).

Tim McDermott DVM featured in a tick prevention video.

Tim McDermott (DVM), Ohio State University Extension, created a video to highlight how to best reduce your chances of encountering ticks. Since growers need to be in the field to carry out their work, the option for staying out of those areas is not practical but Tim’s advice to consider making your clothes tick repellent via washing or sprays may be reasonable to try. Growers can also try clothing with repellent compounds impregnated into the fabric. No amount of prevention will remove all risk of ticks therefore frequent and thorough tick checks need to be part of a routine a few times a day, especially at night. Check out the short video and see what else Tim has to say about tick prevention.

How to remove ticks safely.

What happens if I find a tick on me, how do I remove it? Watch this short video for the safest way to remove ticks and avoid infection. Spoiler alert, this video does not include or recommend using lit matches, gasoline, kerosene, nail polish, duct tape or Vaseline as a safe removal method.

The five medically important ticks in Ohio.

How do I know what species of tick is on me? Concise summaries of all 5 medically important ticks in Ohio.

Want even more information about ticks in Ohio? Read this from the Ohio Department of Health.

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