Ticks can be an outdoors hazard in Ohio


Water and Wings by Ken Parrott



Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to be cautious and take steps to minimize contact with Ohio’s tick species this summer, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. Ticks are found throughout Ohio and sometimes carry potentially dangerous diseases.

When spending time outside, take precautions to prevent a tick from becoming attached to the skin. Treat outdoor clothing with permethrin-based repellents according to the label directions. Tuck pants into socks or boots and shirts into pants to keep ticks on the outside of clothing. It may help to wear light-colored clothing, which will make it easier to spot ticks. Thoroughly check clothes and skin for any attached ticks after any outdoor excursion, and don’t forget to check pets and gear, too.

Any attached ticks should be removed as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of contracting tick-borne diseases. To remove a tick, use tweezers or gloved hands. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull straight out with steady, even pressure.

Ohio has three medically important species of tick: the American dog tick, blacklegged tick, and lone star tick. All three species have the potential to transmit diseases to humans and pets. The highest risk for contracting tick-borne disease occurs from June through August, but Lyme disease is possible year-round.

The American dog tick is the most common tick in Ohio and is found in grassy areas. It is most active during the summer months and is the primary transmitter of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Blacklegged tick populations have increased in Ohio since 2010, especially in forested areas. This species is active throughout the year, including winter, and can carry Lyme disease. The blacklegged tick is also known as the deer tick because it is frequently found on white-tailed deer. Lone star ticks are mostly found in southern Ohio in shaded, grassy areas and are active during the warmer months. This species can also transmit several diseases.

More information on these and other tick species, and photos to help identification, are found on the Ohio Department of Health webpage. To learn more about tick-borne diseases and their symptoms, visit cdc.gov/ticks.

Ticks can transmit disease within 36 to 48 hours after the initial bite. It is important to regularly check for ticks and remove them as quickly as possible. Outdoor recreation increases the chance of encountering ticks. Urban and suburban development also increases the risk as people are close to mice, white-tailed deer, and other hosts for ticks. Pets in an outdoor setting should have tick control.

It is important to note that, unlike humans and pets, wild animals such as deer are not affected by the blacklegged tick and suffer no ill effects from Lyme disease. Hunters should remember that hunting and dressing deer may bring them into close contact with infected ticks. Lyme disease cannot be transmitted by the consumption of venison.

• Park visitors have a new place to dock their boats, grab some lunch, and gather with family at Alum Creek State Park. The new marina building includes retail and boat rental space, offers pizza and snacks, accessible public restrooms and shower facilities, and a covered outdoor patio space. The facility replaces the previous marina building that was built in the 1970s and complements the recently renovated docks and fuel system installed at the main marina.

• Applications for Ohio’s controlled public land hunting opportunities will be accepted beginning Friday, July 1, according to the ODNR Division of Wildlife. These hunts provide special chances for hunters to pursue deer, waterfowl, doves, and more on public lands during the 2022-23 season. The application period is open for all hunters until Sunday, July 31.
Controlled hunts are held on select areas around Ohio and are available through the Division of Wildlife and the Division of Parks and Watercraft. Available hunts for the 2022-23 season include deer, waterfowl, dove, pheasant, squirrel, and quail. The Division of Wildlife offers hunts for adults, youth, mobility impaired, and mentors with apprentices. Firearm and archery options are available.

Hunters may apply for controlled hunts by completing the application process online using Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System or via phone by calling 1-800-703-1928. There is a $5.50 service fee for the phone option. Each hunt requires payment of a non-refundable $3 application fee. Customers may apply for more than one hunt but can only apply to each hunt once per year.

All applicants, youth and adult, are required to possess a valid Ohio hunting license and meet age requirements. Youth hunters must be under 18 at the time of the hunt to participate. Adults must be 18 or older at the time of the application. Those applying for deer hunts will also need a valid deer permit to apply. Find more information at wildohio.gov on the controlled hunt page.

Participants may use a deer management permit during controlled deer hunts. Deer management permits cost $15 and can be used to harvest antlerless deer only. Deer management permits are valid on private land and select public hunting areas until Nov. 27. They are also valid during authorized controlled hunts between Sept. 10 and Feb. 5, 2023.

Hunters are randomly drawn from submitted applications. Successful applicants will be notified and provided additional hunt information by Monday, Aug. 8, including a permit, rules, and hunting area map. Each controlled hunt opportunity is unique, and applicants are encouraged to thoroughly review all site-specific information, including rules and requirements, prior to applying. Application statuses can be viewed through Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System.

Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!

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Water and Wings by Ken Parrott

Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.

Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.