Black-legged ticks can survive through the Winter, and pose a special risk to Ohio's hunters who are in wooded areas. Ticks spread many diseases and are active in Ohio from early spring until late fall. Diseases spread by ticks include: Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis.
These diseases can be transmitted only by the bite of an infected tick. An infected animal or person cannot pass the infection on to another animal or person. Ticks normally become infected by taking a blood meal from an infected animal. Use caution when removing ticks from pets and be sure to check yourself and loved ones after spending time in ticks’ habitat.
PREVENTION OF TICK-BORNE DISEASE
The risk of exposure to ticks and disease can be reduced by using precautions:
- Avoid tick-infested areas (i.e. wooded or weedy areas).
- If exposure is unavoidable, tuck pants into sock tops or boots.
- Wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to find crawling ticks.
- Use repellants and follow label instructions carefully.
- Check children for ticks frequently.
- Use caution when handling ticks and dispose of properly.
- Dogs can become infected with tick-borne diseases.
- Dogs should be kept in well-mowed areas during tick season (April-September).
- Treatments are available to control ticks on dogs. Always follow label instructions.
- Inspect dogs for ticks every day. Ticks should be handled with caution and disposed of safely.
- Keep yard and outdoor play areas well mowed to discourage tick infestation.
- If a tick is attached, remove it as soon as possible; this reduces your risk of infection.
- 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.