The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is warning Vermilion, Ohio residents about the risk for tick bites as they get more active in the Vermilion area during the spring and summer seasons. Officials are asking Vermilion residents to educate themselves on different species and how to protect yourself.
While ticks are present in Vermilion year-round, residents and visitors are most at risk during late spring and summer when the nymphs and adults are most active. Ticks can be found in long grass and wooded areas where they wait to latch onto a host that brushes past them. They can detect breath, body odor, body heat, and vibrations to sense when a host is nearby. Once a tick attaches itself, it may spend several hours or days feeding. Although ticks may attach themselves anywhere on your body, the underarms, waist, head, and legs are common locations to find them.
How to protect yourself:
Lyme disease is caused by an infection with a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. In Ohio, B. burgdorferi is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis.
Lyme disease cases are increasing in Ohio as the range of blacklegged tick populations continues to expand in the state and encounters with this tick occur more frequently, particularly in the forest habitats preferred by this tick, according to the Ohio Department Of Health.
Most humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks calls nymphs. Nymphs are tiny (less than 2 mm) and difficult to see; they feed during the spring and summer months. Adult ticks can also transmit Lyme disease bacteria, but they are much larger and are more likely to be discovered and removed before they have had time to transmit the bacteria. Adult blacklegged ticks are most active during the cooler months of the year.
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites. If you find a tick on your body, remove it quickly to reduce the risk of contracting Lyme disease. See a healthcare provider if you do get sick. Early diagnosis and treatment are important in fighting Lyme disease.