Blacklegged ticks were once considered rare in Ohio, but the state now has likely established populations in 26 counties, most east of Interstate 71 where deciduous forests are present. These small, dark ticks are known transmitters of Lyme disease and remain active throughout the year, including the fall and winter when temperatures are above freezing. Learn more about identifying these pests at www.bit.ly/OHticks.
ODH’s website has information and images about tick identification and tick-borne diseases. Visit odh.ohio.gov to learn more. The Center for Disease Control website has further details on Lyme disease nationally at www.cdc.gov/lyme.
Unlike pets and humans, wild animals such as deer are not affected by the blacklegged tick and suffer no ill effects from Lyme disease. Additionally, Lyme disease cannot be transmitted by the consumption of venison. Hunters should remember that hunting and dressing deer may bring them into close contact with infected ticks. Be aware that composting deer hides may introduce these unwanted ticks in new areas.