As warmer weather in Ohio makes an appearance, so do ticks

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – As we head into spring and experience warmer weather, people are not the only ones who will be outside more.

Around this time of year, ticks begin to become a problem for many. The American dog tick, the deer tick and the lone star tick are commonly found in Ohio starting in April and May.

The Ohio Department of Health keeps track of all the different ticks found in Ohio and how many have been found. They can keep track of good or bad tick years.

According to the Ohio State University Extension office in Canfield, ticks are blood-feeding parasites that can impact the quality of life and health of humans and pets. Ticks can infect a host with several diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotter Fever and Lyme Disease.

This is why the OSU Extension office keeps a close eye on tick reports, to help people identify which ticks can be found in the Valley and how to avoid getting sick from them.

“We realize we need to put out more tick information when we get that first call. So usually April or May is when we’ll get the first call that says, ‘Hey, I got a tick, can you identify it for us?’ We’ll tell them what kind of tick that is. If we can’t get that specific, we’ll send it to campus because it depends on what stage of growth that tick is in that we can properly identify it. But we’ll get that answer for them and help them identify what’s happening,” said Eric Barrett, an educator at the OSU Extension office.

If you’re heading out this weekend, be on the look-out for ticks and remember these three things:

  1. Wear highs socks, even if you are just planning on going for a walk
  2. Tuck you pant legs into your socks, especially if you’re heading into tall grass
  3. Wear light clothing, it will be easier to locate ticks if they are actually on you

If you have to remove a tick, it’s not recommended to soak it in alcohol or to burn it off. Experts say the most effective way is to use tweezers — just grasp the head of the embedded tick and pull. However, if the tick is swollen you should see a doctor.

“They really need to watch how long they think that tick attached. If it’s just recently attached, it usually takes several hours or days, usually, to have a transmission. So, you really need to go to your doctor if you find one that is actually engorged that’s really swelled up,” Barrett said.