TickNotes

The TickGuy’s blog shares tick-related stories, highlights and notes from the region and around the world.

  • woman in a tee-shirt FLIP-FLOPS - A true story about when knowing better and doing better are .... just different. Continue Reading
  • Just Tell Me What I Need to Know … When I Need to Know it - There are a lot of fairly simple things that people can do to help protect against ticks but most people also could use a nudge to help them remember to do them. Continue Reading
  • engorged tick on the ground The Tick Hunt - “For your final exam, I want to give you a unique experience, something that helps relate disease with vectors..." Continue Reading
  • List of the five most common summertime ticks next to a picture of a nymph lone star tick. #1 nymph lone star ticks #2 Female american dog ticks #3 nymph blackegged ticks #4 male american dog ticks #5 male lone star ticks The Five Most Common Summertime Ticks - Here is our list of the five most active summertime ticks, at least, so far this summer. Do any of these ticks live where you do? Continue Reading
  • pants tucked into socks ARE YOU READY FOR SPRING TICKS? - It’s finally Spring... but definitely not the spring we wanted or could even imagine! COVID-19 is seeing to that. Self-isolation, social distancing, working or learning from home; or maybe you’re... Continue Reading
  • female blacklegged tick on back of ear Confessions of a TickGuy - With her head on the pillow and eyelids drooping towards closed, my sleepy little 6-year-old granddaughter barely could whisper “Grandpa” while flicking her finger at her ear. In the dimly-lit hotel room... Continue Reading
  • Moose MOOSE TICKS BUT NO MOOSE! - ...for the first time in about a decade and a half, I was encountering winter tick, more commonly referred to as the moose tick. Trends in winter tick... Continue Reading
  • larval ticks on a person's sock with the caption "Ticks so small..." Ticks So Small… They Crawl Right Through Your Socks! - All ticks come in small, medium, and large sizes; officially these life stages are termed larva, nymph and adult (male and female), respectively... Continue Reading
  • Asian longhorned ticks on a chicken Chickens may eat ticks, - What’s the first thing you think of when someone mentions backyard chickens? Healthy eggs, farm to table, quirky pets are cool... Continue Reading
  • Duck tape to remove larvae De-Tick With Duct Tape - Late summer is when you're most likely to encounter an egg-batch's worth of larval stage deer (blacklegged) or Lone Star (seed) ticks. These six-legged larvae hatch from egg masses that can contain 3,000 or more... Continue Reading
  • a panel of tick pictures submitted to TickSpotters Citizen-science helps track invasive Asian Longhorned Tick - Citizen TickSpotters are partnering with tick scientists and are actively participating in tracking tick threats, like the invasive Asian longhorned tick. Continue Reading
  • a person removing a tick with pointy tweezers from a dog's paw A Curious Larval TickEncounter - Watch our interview with Carol Montie and her family about their TickEncounter story. Continue Reading
  • Engorged tick in the snow Winter Tick Activity - Can't believe TICKS might still be active in winter? Well, BELIEVE!! Continue Reading
  • English springer spaniel dog. Ways Ticks Get Into Your House - I’m pretty sure no one wants to find a tick – either engorged or unfed -- crawling across their floor or furniture. Even the TickGuy really doesn’t like finding loose and wandering ticks inside... Continue Reading
  • Family walking through a Christmas tree farm Do You Have Christmas Tree “TICKS”? - Maybe one of these is your story, too… “This past week we brought our Christmas tree inside and now we are finding a few ticks on the floor every day.” “I squashed a tick I found near my Christmas tree and it left a bloodstain on the carpet. I’m afraid it must have fed on… Continue Reading
  • Deer face The Root of the Lyme Problem - ...more ticks also means more tick bites; and more tick bites, well ... has resulted in an explosion in the incidence of tickborne disease... Continue Reading
  • Three surprising things I learned about Asian longhorned ticks - …and I thought to myself “this TickGuy needs to know more”. That’s when the idea of a field trip popped into my head—"let’s go find some longhorned ticks.”... Continue Reading
  • Virgin birth frog VIRGIN BIRTH TICKS: Is that really a thing? - Some salamanders and geckos only reproduce asexually, a strategy known as obligate parthenogenesis. Others can reproduce sexually or without males as the situation requires – otherwise known as facultative parthenogenesis. This generally happens when environmental conditions necessitate it... Continue Reading
  • Top and bottom view of bat tick Bat Tick - It may not look like any tick you've ever seen but this is a bat tick (Carios kelleyi). Quite a bit different than the more recognized hard ticks in the family Ixodidae (which includes blacklegged ticks, American dog ticks, Lone Star ticks, and others), bat ticks and other soft ticks are in the family Argasidae. Continue Reading
  • girl is just wrong enough JUST WRONG ENOUGH! - The more we listen to people's tick stories, the more we're realizing that much of the information that a majority of people "know" about ticks is just wrong enough to leave them at risk. Often it means... Continue Reading
  • What you need to know about powassan virus What You Need To Know About Powassan Virus - If talk of a potential tick apocalypse isn't bad enough, alarming news of a new tick-borne disease called Powassan virus has taken the internet and local TV stations by storm. While it certainly raises cause for concern, it's important to get some perspective on this rare disease: know the basics about... Continue Reading
  • female lone star tick The “Newest” Tick in (some) Towns - It may be new to you, but the Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum) was actually the first North American tick species to be formally described, with reports dating back to the late 1700s. Southeastern, South-central, and mid-Atlantic states are ground zero for this tick, but a 2014 study revealed Lone Star ticks can now… Continue Reading
  • They can be tough to find on your back....as a friend to help check! Brookline, MA November 5, 2016 3 day feeding female blacklegged (deer) tick. TickSpotters:Crowd-sourced Tick Surveillance for America Fall Tick Alert – This time of year they’re pretty much ALL deer ticks. - Even after that first, second, or even third frost or killing freeze... this time of year, ticks are still here! They're not killed off, and there's something different about the fall tick season. In Autumn, the ticks are pretty much ALL... Continue Reading
  • untucked shirt on a man 5 Ways You May Be Putting Yourself at Risk For Lyme Disease This Autumn - It's officially not summer any longer! No more camping, pool parties, cookouts …and no more ticks and mosquitoes biting either, right?? It's true--summertime is the “tickiest” time of the year, especially in the eastern United States. But just because you haven't seen many (or any) ticks lately, doesn't mean that your risk for catching Lyme… Continue Reading
  • Women spraying many pairs of shoes with permethrin show and clothing spray The ticks you don’t see are the dangerous ones! - Tiny ticks the size of poppy seeds and loaded with germs…germs that cause diseases like Lyme, babesiosis, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis. YIKES! Now's when you really need to Get TickSmart. Continue Reading
  • That's A lot of ticks! Wyoming RI November 24, 2015 Rhode Island Deer Harvest, a lot of blacklegged (deer) ticks. Tickspotters:Crowd-sourced Tick surveillance for America BACKYARD DEER: Wonder & Worry - "OH LOOK...There's a deer in the backyard," I hear my wife exclaim with glee and awe. "OH CRAP", I grumble as I run to pull on boots and dash outside to chase it away, all the while wondering how many more... Continue Reading
  • 45 ticks shown below a ruler with the caption "Look at what was in my yard!" A “TICKNADO” WATCH HAS JUST BEEN POSTED FOR YOUR AREA – BE PREPARED! - Just when you thought that the bloodsuckers of summer should be gone, some come back. TICKS. That's right! Not all types ... but one type that's especially dangerous - adult blacklegged ticks. Rather than being killed off by cooler nighttime temperatures -- even a frost or a freeze -- adult blacklegged tick populations are just rev-ving… Continue Reading
  • "I Cost What?" Brown dog tick infestation Prevention can save lives & Money in RMSF epidemic (RMSF-Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever) CDC Press Release: Prevention and early treatment of RMSF Rocky Mtn. Spotted Fever] in Arizona may save millions by preventing premature death and disability - Several Arizona American Indian communities severely impacted by outbreak, CDC/IHS study finds CDC Press Release excerpt: "The mounting costs of an epidemic of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) among several American Indian tribes in Arizona suggests that prevention and control efforts would be cost effective. A recent study released by experts at the Centers for Disease… Continue Reading
  • The tick that give you Lyme disease is smaller than a poppy seed. Deer tick nymphs Can YOU find the nymphal deer tick? - Updated May 5, 2015 TickSmart "To-Do" List for May Spray all outdoor shoes with Permethrin Make sure pets are protected Have yard treated with effective tick killers Be especially vigilant about doing daily tick checks Send off kids' camp clothes to be treated Ticks the size of poppy seeds, loaded with pathogens that can make… Continue Reading
  • A map of Spring tick hot spots Where The Ticks Are! - Did you know that YOU and YOUR PETS can help monitor tick population trends and tickborne disease risk across America. Thousands of citizen scientists submitted REAL data that's helping... Continue Reading
  • Image of a dog covered in brown dog ticks with the caption "If not tended regularly, dogs can be heavily infested with brown dog ticks." Project Rodeo: Rounding Up Varmint Brown Dog Ticks, Reducing Human Disease - Dec 16, 2014 The words 'good news' & 'ticks' don't usually appear together. But here's an integrated tick management (ITM) success story. Between 2003-2012, with brown dog ticks as vectors and human cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), including 19 deaths, spiraling upwards at >150 times the national average among residents living on the American Indian… Continue Reading
  • Brown dog ticks are...just horrible! Brown dog ticks don't transmit Lyme disease but can transmit Rocky mnt Spotted fever to people and pets as well as other nasty pet pathogens and they can INFEST homes. Infestation As Bad As Infection! A Tick Horror Story - October 29, 2014 Blacklegged (deer) ticks usually take center stage in most people’s tick talk. They ARE a major disease catalyst, capable of transmitting Lyme disease bacteria and at least 4 or 5 additional pathogens to people and pets. But it’s good not to forget the "plain Jane" of ticks -- Brown Dog ticks – because… Continue Reading
  • TickEncounter staff working with children to find nymphal ticks on poppyseed bagels 12 Things Kids Say About Ticks - June 11, 2014   Like me, you may find that you live where ticks do. And if you do, you can either get tick bitten, or you can Get TickSmart! Getting TickSmart means knowing and using "best practice" strategies to prevent tick bites... because the only way to get a tickborne disease is to be bitten by… Continue Reading
  • Image of an american dog tick with the caption "Finding ticks in your home or car can be freaky!" What’s The Difference Between Inside Ticks And Ticks Inside – PLENTY! - Finding ticks in your home or car can be...freaky. But Spring and early Summer, especially, are times of the year that American dog ticks and sometimes other types, too, hitch a ride inside-on pets or clothing-only to show up when you least expect it, on walls, bedding, furniture, floors, tables, you name it! TickSpotters reports… Continue Reading
  • Dr. Thomas Mather bundled up for winter weather with a picture of a frozen questing tick Brrrrr… Polar “Vorticks”! - January 29, 2014   Have you been wondering (hoping) if these brutal polar vortex episodes sweeping the eastern half of the nation are freezing the palps off of blacklegged (deer) ticks? It’d be nice, right? Recently, when we put some adult female deer ticks in our own polar vortex (aka, the freezer), ticks were killed in 24… Continue Reading
  • dog tick adult male Five Ticks To Watch Out For This Fall - Did you really think ticks were pretty much through for the year? Not so fast! And no matter if you live East, West, South or North, there's still going to be plenty of opportunity to get bitten during the Fall. Fortunately, most of the ticks active during the Fall are the larger adult stages, so… Continue Reading
  • A female tick attached below a dog's eye There Are Two Types Of Ticks On Your Dog or Cat - July 31, 2013  It’s a fact! Ticks on pets come in two varieties, attached and feeding or loose and wandering. This, of course, is in addition to the ticks being different species or in various lifestages. If there’s any good news in this story, it’s that ticks already attached and feeding on your pet are NOT very likely… Continue Reading
  • dog park sign with a man walking in the background California Dreamin’ - February 05, 2013 While ticks are either buried under snow, frozen into the ground , or just taking a rest over much of the northern tier of the USA this month, the winter "green up" in much of California is just what it takes to really "heat up" TickEncounter risk .... from Mendocino to Calabasas,… Continue Reading
  • Image of a tick being flushed down the toilet with the caption "Flushing a tick down the toilet should be the last you'll see of that critter. However, TERC recommends taping the tick, especially those found on family members, to an index card with the date and location found. Hang on to the card for six months or so, just in case unusual symptoms appear. That way you can always have the tick tested for pathogens." Ticks definitely don’t swim! - November 20, 2012 Here's a question we get occasionally: Can ticks swim or do they drown? A related comment that recently came in: I've heard that ticks can hold their breath for up to an hour and possibly longer? Oh, really? TickEncounter isn't aware of any "formal" research on either subject specifically but here's what… Continue Reading
  • A group of men on a golf course with the caption "Maybe you're still planning a few last rounds of golf this Fall. Did you know that in the northeastern and midwestern United States, October and November are the most active seasons for adult stage deer ticks?" No One Wants A Golfing TickEncounter! - Still planning a few last rounds of golf this Fall? Did you know that adult stage deer ticks are most active from October into December in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States? Review these 6 images before your next game to Stay TickSafe :   Continue Reading
  • spirochetes Borrelia miyamotoi -   These days, many people would fill in that blank with "Lyme disease". Lyme disease, caused by an infection with the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common tick-transmitted disease of humans worldwide. But Borrelia burgdorferi isn't the only pathogen transmitted by ticks. It's not even the only Borrelia. Ticks transmit the germs responsible for… Continue Reading
  • White flowers on a branch April Flowers Signal Early Tick Season! - April 7, 2012 As the saying goes, "April showers bring May flowers" but this year, many flowers are coming earlier than normal, due to one of the warmest winters on record. The normal "seasonal phenology" [defined as the study of the timing of natural events] has been advanced forward for some organisms by a few… Continue Reading
  • A person vacuuming between couch cushions Ticks are crawling up my walls. Help!! - November 21, 2011 We've gotten a number of letters with pleas for information that often go something like this one: [S.E. , Commerce City CO]: "We removed about 10 ticks from our small Chihuahua on October 2 but didn't know what they were. Three days before finding the ticks on the dog I found a tick… Continue Reading
  • A Tick With Wings? - September 01, 2011 In Fall, there's nothing more enjoyable than a walk in the woods, except for dealing with disease-carrying blacklegged ticks! Recently, we were reminded that adult blacklegged ticks aren't the only tiny creature likely to latch on in Fall. So, what's flat like a tick? Sucks blood like a tick? Gets on deer… Continue Reading
  • Arachnid world Ticks Sanda Markle Dangerous Hitchhikers Dangerous Hitchhikers - Feburary 08, 2011 There's a new book to help children (and adults) learn more about TICKS just in time for spring and summer, when families typically gear up to get outside and latch onto nature. Whether it's at camp, hiking, walking the dog, or just playing in the backyard, it's information you need to know about… Continue Reading
  • Exotic(k) - January 14, 2011 Attention Monitor Lizard Owners: this TickEncounter story is for you!! Thought you couldn't have any more fun with your pet? ....well, how about if it brought you a SPECIAL tick encounter. Let's just call this one exotic(k). The adult-stage monitor lizard tick (Amblyomma exornatum) pictured, along with two others, were attached near the… Continue Reading
  • Outline of Texas between two lone star ticks Texas Ticks Rarely Carry Human Pathogens - January 04, 2011 Not everything is bigger in Texas. For example, take tick infection rates – that's the proportion of ticks infected with disease-causing microbes. In tiny Rhode Island, tick infection rates for serious tick-transmitted diseases like Lyme disease, human babesiosis, and human anaplasmosis typically range from 10 - 75% (depending on tick stage and microbial… Continue Reading
  • Person holding acorns with the caption "EcoFocus: A biweekly column in the Poughkeepsie Journal. Acorn glut signals lyme risk." NUTS! More acorns means more ticks? - December 06, 2010 Here's something to consider for those who like to plan ahead. More acorns in 2010 means more Lyme-infected deer tick nymphs in 2012. According to Dr. Richard Ostfeld, a biologist at the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies in Dutchess Co. New York, there were more acorns this year than in the 20 years he's… Continue Reading
  • David Simer, a Barnstable County entomolgist who specialized in studying ticks and lyme disease, died Friday at 57. Cape Cod Times/ Steve Heaslip Entomologist David Simser, Cape and Island’s tick and Lyme disease specialist, dies at 57 - November 28, 2010 TickEncounter Resource Center is sad to note the untimely passing of a true TICK GUY – entomologist David Simser from the Barnstable MA Cooperative Extension. Trained as a forest entomologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dave later became the Cape and Islands tick specialist, helping to establish a tick surveillance and tick… Continue Reading
tick notes archive