Nine Things To Know About Five Ticks in Ohio

Updated: Jan 4

1- Protect yourself by avoiding tick habitats when possible (tall grasses or shrubs, especially next to traveled paths and wooded areas interspersed with undergrowth) .

-wear clothing tucked in

-spray a repellent on your clothes, especially shoes (NOT your pet) containing permethrin or deet.

2- Putting clothes in and running the dryer on a high temperature right away, will kill most ticks and prevent them from crawling around in your laundry room. Ticks mostly love humidity not dryness.

3- Checking for ticks daily will help you find them quickly. If you find a tick, remove it immediately.

- Use fine tipped tweezers by pulling firmly in an upwards motion, don’t twist.

4- Do NOT throw away or destroy the tick until you identify it.

-Carry tweezers and ziplock bags with you for this purpose.

5- Become acquainted with the main ways to ID a tick:

- Mouth Parts: long or short

- Scutum: pretty or plain and general color of tick

- Festoons: smooth or ridged along back side of shell

- Your Location and Time of year

Important characteristics for ID'ing a tick

6- It generally takes at least 24 hours for a tick to begin transmitting disease.

7- Not all ticks are carrying disease pathogens that can be transmitted to you or your pet.

8- Many ticks are not born carrying disease, they pick it up from prior bloodmeal hosts. Certain ticks carry certain pathogens, hence the importance of an ID.

2 year life cycle of the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. The nymphs, being especially small, are known to transfer most lyme disease because they are not found in a timely manner.

9- Storing the tick in a ziplock style bag is fine for shipping via UPS or FedEx to determine if carrying a disease (see TickReport at end of this article).

The five ticks found in Ohio that currently are a human and pet hazard:

1. The Blacklegged Tick or Deer Tick and

2. American Dog Tick or Wood Tick

3. The Brown Dog Tick is best known for infesting houses, apartments etc. because it likes a dry environment. Throwing this one in the dryer may not kill it.

4. The Lone Star Tick, best known for spreading Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

5. The Gulf Coast Tick. The newcomer on the block with several positive ID’s in Columbus and parts of northern Ohio in 2018.

Special thanks to Tick Encounter and Tick Report for great information and pictures, and also the CDC. PICTURES of tick ID’d (currently for free!) check tick for disease ($50 minimum fee)