CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Ohio authorities are warning the public about the risk for tick bites as more emerge amid the active spring and summer season.
Ticks exist in Ohio year-round, but the risk for a bite is greatest in late spring and summer when nymphs and adults are at their most active, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Ticks can be found in long grass and wooded areas, where they latch onto a human or animal that brushes by, according to ODNR.
They can detect breath, body odor, body heat and vibrations to sense when a host is nearby. Once a tick attaches itself, it may spend several hours or days feeding.
Most tick bites are harmless and don't need medical treatment.
But some ticks like the deer tick, wood tick, and others can carry harmful germs that cause diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
Nearly 60,000 cases of tick borne diseases were reported last year, according to the CDC. However, there are measures you can take to keep you and your family and pets safe.
Tick Bite Prevention
A few simple measures can decrease your chances of being bitten by a harmful tick while out in the field:
- Know when and where to expect ticks. (Blacklegged ticks are found in the woods; dog ticks are in grassy areas and road edges.)
- Use repellents according to labels.
- Tuck your pants into your socks and boots and tuck your shirt into your pants.
- Check yourself, family, and pets regularly and remove ticks immediately.
- Use anti-tick products on pets.
- Ask your veterinarian about Lyme vaccines for pets where blacklegged ticks are found.
- Create a tick-safe zone in your yard.
To use tick repellent properly follow these steps:
- First, purchase an insect repellent containing permethrin, which both repels and kills ticks.
- Apply the permethrin to your pants and boots and allow them to dry.
- When heading to the field, tuck your pants into your boots to prevent tick access to your skin.
- Once the permethrin is dry, it has no odor and leaves no stain. The repellent should remain effective throughout the hunting season, even with exposure to moisture or hot-water washing.
- If you are bitten by a tick, don’t panic.
- Carefully remove the tick, including its mouth parts, from your skin using tweezers.
- Monitor your health the following days. While the CDC recognizes a 36-48 hour window is needed for disease transmission, there is evidence that transmission can occur sooner.
ODNR also urges the public to take the time to learn about Ohio’s tick species and how to protect yourself.
You may send the tick to your local health department for identification.