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White flag dragging through grass to collection ticks.

Ticks

Ticks

Lorain County Public Health (LCPH) actively monitors tick activity throughout Lorain County to prevent the spread of tickborne diseases. Most tick bites are harmless, yet some species found in Ohio and Lorain County can cause life-threatening diseases - including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In Ohio, most tick encounters happen spring through mid-summer and again in fall. Some tick species can be active year round in Ohio - including the black legged tick that is capable of carrying Lyme disease and other tickborne diseasesIf you find a tick on yourself, your child, or pet -- remove the tick and place it in a container or sealed bag. Then call LCPH at 440-284-3240 and we'll help identify the species of tick. 

Prevent tick bites - people and pets

  • Before going outdoors: 
    • Wear clothing that makes it harder for ticks to reach your skin:
      • Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, a hat and shoes or boots, gloves if gardening, hiking, or hunting.
      • Tuck in clothing: shirts into pants, and pants into socks or boots.
    • Wear light-colored clothing to make it easier for you to see a tick crawling on you. 
    • Use chemical repellent with DEET or Permethrin, or another EPA-approved product. Follow the directions on the label. 
  • While outdoors:  
    • Stay on hiking trails to reduce the risk of ticks brushing onto clothing or your skin. 
  • When returning home: 
    • Check clothing for crawling ticks. 
    • Place all of your clothing in the dryer for at least 10 minutes on a high dry setting to kill ticks. 
    • Check your entire body for ticks while taking a shower. Ticks most commonly bite in and around the ears, hair, scalp, belly button, between the legs, behind the knees, at the waist, under the arms. Ticks can be very small - look for a freckle that moves.
  • Pet owners:
    • Talk to your veterinarian about products that kill ticks to protect your pet from disease. Pet products can also prevent live ticks from traveling into your home when your pet comes inside. 
    • Check your pet for ticks - especially the head, body, and legs.
  • Get more facts in the frequently asked questions section.

  

I found a tick - now what?

  • Remove the tick: 
      1. Use clean tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
      2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If you cannot remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
      3. Wash your hands and the bite area with soap and water, or rubbing alcohol. 
      4. Place the live tick in a sealed bag/container - next, throw it away or call LCPH at 440-284-3240 for help to identify the species of tick. Never crush a tick with your fingers.
        Illustration showing steps of tick removal: Use tweezers, pull upward, and clean the bite area after removal. source CDC
  • Learn what to do next - click get started:


    What is LCPH doing about ticks?

    LCPH actively monitors ticks to protect people and pets in Lorain County from tickborne diseases. 

    1. We identify local ticks.
      After you remove a live tick on you, your child, or your pet, let us help to identify the species. Call LCPH at 440-284-3240, and bring the tick in a sealed bag or container to 9880 Murray Ridge Rd., Elyria. Black legged ticks identified by LCPH are sent to the Ohio Department of Health's Zoonotic Disease Program to be tested for the bacteria responsible in causing Lyme disease. 

    2. We collect ticks.
      Each summer, our Environmental Health interns collect ticks through a “flagging” process. This allows us to find ticks in vegetation, determine areas where ticks are most abundant, and collect tick data (species, sex, quantity). Interns are integral to this part of our active monitoring. 
         image description: Intern collects ticks after flagging a field.

      Seasonal internships are available with our Environmental Health and Health Promotion & Chronic Disease Prevention teams. Check internship job opportunities in February and March, or ask about shadowing experiences via email healthed@loraincountyhealth.com

    3. We send black legged ticks for testing. 
      Black legged ticks identified by LCPH are sent to the Ohio Department of Health's Zoonotic Disease Program to be tested for the bacteria responsible in causing Lyme disease. 
       

    Facts and frequently asked questions

    When are ticks most active?
    In Ohio, most tick encounters happen spring through mid-summer and again in fall. Some tick species can be active year round in Ohio - including the black legged tick that is capable of carrying Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases.

    What are ticks?
    Ticks are tiny bugs that range in size from a grain of sand to an apple seed. Some species of ticks are known to carry bacteria that make people and animals sick with tickborne diseases Ticks do not jump or fly. They crawl onto people and animals looking for a place on the body to attach - to stay alive - like the backs of knees, armpits, scalp, hair or behind the ears. A tick bite does not hurt, so you might not notice it.

    Do all ticks carry diseases?
    No. Only some ticks carry disease. However, you cannot tell if a tick is carrying a disease just by looking at it.

    Can I get sick by touching a tick?
    No. Tick bites are the only way that they spread diseases. If you touch a tick, wash your hands with soap and water.

    What are possible signs of a tick bite?
    If you get a rash at the bite site, fever, chills, aching joints, nausea, or swollen lymph nodes within 1 month of being bitten. Get medical care soon and inform them about your symptoms and when you were bit by a tick.

    When do signs of disease from a tick bite usually show?
    Most people show signs within 3 to 30 days of getting bit. Seek medical care if you begin to get sick.

    How long does a tick need to be attached to transmit disease?
    Most tick diseases in Ohio take at least 24 hours of attachment to be transmitted. If you get sick after a tick bite, get medical care immediately.

    Can my pet get sick from a tick bite?
    Yes. Like people, animals can also get sick with diseases that ticks carry - including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Talk to your veterinarian about ways to prevent your pet from getting sick from ticks. Learn the signs of tickborne disease in dogs. Currently there are no known tick diseases that can be passed from your dog to you.  

    Are there other resources to give me more information on preventing tick bites?
    Find more information at the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC

    When does LCPH accept interns?
    Seasonal internships are available with our Environmental Health and Health Promotion & Chronic Disease Prevention teams. Check internship job opportunities in February - March, or ask about shadowing experiences via email healthed@loraincountyhealth.com