University of Kentucky entomologist details ways to prevent tick bites

By Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

Tick season is underway and a University of Kentucky entomologist is reminding Kentuckians to take precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones from tick bites.

“In tick-prone areas, check yourself, children and other family members every two hours, and very thoroughly after returning home from hikes and other outdoor activities,” said Lee Townsend, UK extension entomologist in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Common places to find ticks are behind the knees, around the waist, under arms, neck and head.” Continue reading

It’s winter – Do I still have to worry about ticks?

Many people let down their guard for themselves and their pets once November comes because the associate the cold weather with fewer insects. However, when it comes to ticks, winter weather in the southern states often does not get cold enough to kill off the entire population of adult ticks. Therefore, it’s important to continue to protect pets and be vigilant during the winter months.

The National Pest Alert for ticks gives information about the most common tick species in the U.S., along with tick biology, disease symptoms and photographs of ticks in different stages. Colored maps also show where residents might find different tick species. Continue reading

Part 2 of tick series: protecting the family

In Southwest Farm Press

by Leilana McKindra, Oklahoma State University

With spring in full bloom and summer well on the way, Oklahoma families heading outdoors to enjoy the warmer temperatures should take extra care to protect themselves against ticks.

Though ticks are active year-round throughout the state, from now through the end of summer, hard ticks will be a main concern, said Justin Talley, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension livestock entomologist. Continue reading

Tips to prevent ticks

In University of Georgia’s Landscape Alert

Ticks are in every part of Georgia. The most common ticks in Georgia are lone star ticks, carriers of uncommon diseases called “ehrlichiosis.” However, the American dog tick is also present in the state, and it is known to carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever—a flu-like illness that can cause complications for young children and those with suppressed immune systems.

The best course of action to prevent disease is to avoid tick bites altogether, said Nancy Hinkle, a UGA Extension veterinary entomologist.

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Meat lovers beware: the lone star tick and meat allergies

There is little doubt that being bitten by a tick can be bad for your health. Ticks carry pathogens for serious, life-threatening diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme’s Disease, ehrlichiosis and southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI). If this weren’t enough, research led by the University of Virginia has also discovered that several bites by one tick species can also cause an allergy to meat. Continue reading

Be on the lookout for ticks and tick-borne diseases

Summer is the season for outdoor activities like picnics and nature hikes, bringing people more risk of being bitten by a tick. With all of the emphasis on Lyme Disease, it can be easy to concentrate your worry on the possibility of Lyme Disease. Unfortunately, there are several diseases carried by ticks, and these diseases are specific to certain species. So in addition to identifying the biting insect as a tick, you must also be prepared to identify the species of tick.

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Is it a tick? Is it a bed bug? Some resources to help

Since writing the post on bed bugs and ticks in April, I have noticed that “bed bugs vs ticks” seems to be the top search term every day, and that post has been the top rated one every day since that date. Since many of us will travel over the holidays or have travelers in our homes, I’m going to give you a list of resources that have photos and contact information, so if you wake up one night and find something crawling on the back of your neck, you will be able to know whether you need to go to the doctor the next day, or to start washing everything you have in hot water.

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