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Ticks Abundant in Ohio

May 13, 2013

The Mansfield/Ontario/Richland County Health Department is issuing a warning about the abundance of ticks being reported in Richland County. Ticks are a health concern because they can transmit diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease along with other diseases.

Diseases are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick. In the United States, there are many types of ticks but only some of these are known to cause diseases. In Ohio, the most common ticks found are the American dog tick, the Lone Star tick and the brown dog tick. Recently, Ohio is reporting more of the black-legged ticks (aka the “deer tick”) which can cause Lyme disease and anaplasmosis. Symptoms of the illnesses after a bite from an infected tick include high fever, headaches and aching muscles. Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be fatal and Lyme disease can cause long-term nervous system damage. Treatments and antibiotics are available for most tick-borne diseases if they are identified shortly after symptoms occur.

“Last year the unusually mild winter weather caused ticks to appear earlier and in greater numbers than we’ve seen in recent year and this year we are again getting early reports of ticks,” said Matthew Work, Environmental Health Director at the Mansfield/Ontario/Richland County Health Department. “Hunters need to be particularly cautious and check for ticks on themselves or their clothing when returning from the field. People who have cats and dogs that go outside need to check their pets when they return inside the house.”

For more information about ticks, see the following information:
Tick identification chart
Brochure on tick-borne diseases from the Ohio Department of Health

Update from OSU-Extension: 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also has information on ticks at


The Mansfield/Ontario/Richland County Health Department is urging caution with the prevalence of ticks in Richland County wooded areas. Use the following list for guidance:

Preventing Tick Bites

While it is a good idea to take preventive measures against ticks year-round, be extra vigilant in warmer months (April-September) when ticks are most active. Most tick encounters do not result in a disease as only an infected tick can cause disease, and they need to feed for several hours before transmitting the bacteria.

Avoid Direct Contact with Ticks

  • Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
  • Walk in the center of trails.

Repel Ticks with DEET or Permethrin

  • Use repellents that contain 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on the exposed skin for protection that lasts up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth.
  • Use products that contain permethrin on clothing. Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents. It remains protective through several washings. Pre-treated clothing is available and remains protective for up to 70 washings.

Find and Remove Ticks from Your Body

  • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
  • Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.
  • Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and day packs. Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill remaining ticks.

Importance in identifying ticks

IF you find a tick attached to you, it is important to carefully remove the tick without damaging it, and having it identified to determine the type of tick. Ticks can be brought to our department for identification. Make a note of the date it was found and notify your doctor if symptoms occur.

Tick Removal

If you find a tick attached to your skin, there's no need to panic. If the tick is flat, it has not fed long, if at all. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers can be carefully used to remove a tick. Try to prevent damage to the tick and put it in a small container or plastic bag with a few pieces of grass for moisture, so it can be identified.

How to remove a tick

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.
  • 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 this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  • After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
Comments (12) - Post a Comment
Found a tick diving in between my fingers today (May 7th, 2012). Believed to be maybe a blacklegged tick. I had just gotten out of the shower. I live in northwest ohio. Don't even live near any woods, few trees in yard. Haven't been outside for several hours so I don't know where it came from. Odd this early in the year to find one. Beware and check for them already..
Barb H. at 1:54am EDT - May 8, 2012
I have three children, the oldest of whom is nine years old. I have never found a tick on any of them until this year, in which I have already found four! Since I had no previous experience with ticks, I didn't know to keep the tick for identification, but I believe them to all be the same. According to the pictures I have been finding on the internet, thea appear to be Deer Ticks.
Amy P. at 10:36pm EDT - May 20, 2012
I should have mentioned that I live in southwestern Ohio, in the eastern suburbs of Cincinnati.
Amy P. at 10:37pm EDT - May 20, 2012
I foolishly took my dog for a run in a large field @ the Ceasar Creek Wildlife Veiwing center, (near Hopewell Lodge). We had a great time, but at the end his front were legs covered with ticks! I tried to get as many of them off him right there and then had to take him home and immediately spent 2 hours pulling ticks off him in the shower, then showering myself. The next morning my husband found a tick on the back of my right shoulder, then went for some flea and tick shampoo and washed the dog again. We're still finding ticks that fell off him , some of them live. He was up to date on his K9Advantix.
Terri C at 6:06pm EDT - June 9, 2012
Terri C,
Sounds like you are doing all the right things to make sure you and you family and your pets stay free of ticks. Good job. Getting bit by an infected tick is rare but getting them off as soon as you find them (and checking pets and each other) is the best preventative measure. Hope your dog is doing okay.
Health Department at 10:04am EDT - June 18, 2012
Have just recently moved to this area. In the last two weeks I have had 3 ticks on my and one on a tent I was putting up. I did not know to save them so that they can be identified...but will do it from now one. I just bought frontline for my 3 indoor cats to help protect them...I wish I could "frontline" myself!
kasey at 6:12pm EDT - May 4, 2013
We ran this story up on the website when I saw a few of my friends posting about ticks on Facebook. My wife and I live is a wooded area and our two outside cats are always transporting them in. My wife had one that burrowed in on her right shoulder and after removal she developed a red spot. Headaches and muscle soreness followed. Those are signs to follow up with a doctor which we did. If you have any possible symptoms, see a doctor immediately. Error on the side of caution. The Health Department is NOT identifying ticks. If you remove one from yourself or family member, watch for any symptoms.
Health Department at 9:33am EDT - May 6, 2013
Correction for above: the Health Department is still identifying ticks brought in to Environmental Health. The part that said "send to thw Ohio Department of Health" has been removed.
Health Department at 10:04am EDT - May 6, 2013
Found two ticks Tuesday 05/14/2012 One on my hair and the other on my granddaughters flip flop she had left in the grass. Now that I am aware to keep them and take to health dept. will do that. Never have seen any in my yard befor. Live in Ontario by GM. Creeps me out and will take extra measures to make sure we have none on us.
Debra Johnson at 6:09pm EDT - May 17, 2013
I have already found 4 ticks in the past 2-3 weeks, 2 on my dog, one in a notebook in my living room, and one on my boyfriend. I have never encountered a tick in this part of ohio, in southern ohio yes, but not north eastern ohio. My dog has long fur and its extremely hard to check her for ticks, she still a puppy and does not like to be brushed. Im thinking frequent vet visits are going to be a must this year. We also have a bunny, how on earth can we check for ticks on him? We pet him everyday, but his fur is thick! Any extra tips for keeping my daughter and our pets tick free this year would be great!
Thank you for all the great info
Emily at 1:11am EDT - May 28, 2013
Just found what I believe is a deer tick on my dog. Have never had issues before..kinda scary and boy was she a beast while trying to get it out
Angela at 11:37pm EDT - June 9, 2014
Ohh I am from Ashtabula county
Angela at 11:39pm EDT - June 9, 2014

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