Ticks can be a danger outdoors in Ohio

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 you spend time outdoors, take precautions to prevent a tick from attaching to your skin. Treat outdoor clothing with permethrin-based repellents according to label directions. Tuck pants into socks or boots and shirts into pants to keep ticks off clothing. It can be helpful to wear light-colored clothing, which will make it easier to spot ticks. Thoroughly check clothing and skin for attached ticks after any outdoor excursion, and don’t forget to check pets and gear, too.

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

Ohio has three species of medically important ticks: the American dog tick, the black-legged tick, and the lone star tick. All three species have the potential to transmit diseases to humans and pets. The highest risk of tick-borne diseases occurs from June to 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 main transmitter of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Black-legged tick populations have increased in Ohio since 2010, especially in wooded areas. This species is active year-round, including winter, and can transmit Lyme disease. The black-legged tick is also known as a deer tick because it is frequently found on white-tailed deer. Lone star ticks are found primarily in southern Ohio in shady, grassy areas and are active during the warmer months. This species can also transmit various diseases.

More information on these and other tick species, as well as photos to aid identification, are available on the Ohio Department of Health website. For more information on tick-borne diseases and their symptoms, visit cdc.gov/ticks.

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

It is important to note that unlike humans and pets, wild animals such as deer are not affected by the black-legged tick and do not suffer from the ill effects of Lyme disease. Hunters should remember that hunting and dressing deer can bring them into close contact with infected ticks. Lyme disease cannot be spread by eating venison.

• Park visitors have a new place to dock their boats, eat 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 showers, 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 hunting opportunities on Ohio controlled public lands will be accepted beginning Friday, July 1, 2022, according to the ODNR Division of Wildlife. These hunts provide special opportunities 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 take place in select areas around Ohio and are available through the Division of Wildlife and the Division of Parks and Boats. Available hunts for the 2022-23 season include deer, waterfowl, doves, pheasants, squirrels and quail. The Wildlife Division offers hunts for adults, youth, people with reduced mobility, and mentors with trainees. Firearms and archery options are available.

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

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

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

Hunters are randomly drawn from submitted requests. Selected applicants will be notified and provided additional information about the hunt by Monday, August 8, including a permit, rules, and a map of the hunt area. Each controlled hunt opportunity is unique, and applicants are encouraged to thoroughly review all site-specific information, including rules and requirements, before applying. Application statuses can be viewed through the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System.

Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!

Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Sciences teacher at Northmor High School.