Jun 6, 2022 - News

Bit by a tick? Send it to Ohio State researchers

Tweezers aim for a deer tick
A blacklegged tick, or "deer tick," one of five species of medical concern in Ohio. Photo: Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

It's tick season, and we hope you avoid picking up any bloodsucking hitchhikers as you enjoy the outdoors.

  • But if you find one, don't throw it out: Send your creepy crawlies to Ohio State and contribute to science.

Why it matters: The specimens will help researchers track concentrations of ticks and tick-borne pathogens throughout Ohio. The data is shared with the Ohio Department of Health's Zoonotic Disease Program.

How it works: If you or someone you know is bitten (pets included!), visit this website for instructions on how to remove and kill the tick and mail it.

Be smart: If you develop any unusual symptoms, seek medical attention instead and bring the tick with you.

The big picture: Ticks — and the diseases they carry — are on the rise in Ohio, according to Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

  • That trend is expected to continue because of climate change, which is allowing the arachnids to survive in new habitats and on new hosts.

By the numbers: The Buckeye State had just one tick species of medical concern 20 years ago. Now there are five, with two discovered in 2020.

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