Anyone who spends time in the great outdoors knows about the threat of disease-carrying ticks to any unsuspecting passer-by. Ticks are efficient hunters, waiting in brush or tall grass for a host to latch onto - and once attached, can often go unnoticed for days!
But ticks aren't just out in the wilderness — they can be transported much closer to home by mammals like raccoons or even squirrels. Tick larvae, nymphs or adult ticks can easily end up in residential areas, creating a whole new tick population waiting to be fed in your own garden or neighborhood park. This is why being Tick Safe is so very important!
With the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention initially thinking that there were just 30,000 cases of Lyme disease each year in the US; then suddenly changing that number is at least 300,000 to possibly even 1 million cases in the US alone, now more than ever, it's important to collect data on just how real this epidemic is!
There are a lot of old wives tales out there about how to "best" remove a tick... But did you know that most of them don't work or can even make things worse? They can actually irritate and traumatize ticks stimulating it to release additional saliva or causing them to regurgitate gut contents, which could include Lyme disease or other tickborne illnesses.
Have you spotted a tick recently? Perhaps it was crawling on your leg - or perhaps you found it on Fido? Identifying tick species is important for a number of reasons; the most important of which, is figuring out what pathogens a tick may carry. While it's typically much easier to identify an adult tick, immature ticks can also transmit diseases.