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Location: 2242 Carroll Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46818 • Hours: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
Meet the Staff: Josh Blauvelt, BS, CHHS, Asst. Director; Tom McCue, BS, Env. Health Specialist II; Francis Koch, Env.Technician; Pat De Haven, Secretary; Seasonal Mosquito Technicians
Ticks are found in grassy, brushy areas where they wait for a host to pass by. They are especially prevalent along paths used by animals. Ticks are not choosy about their host and often get onto a person's leg. They crawl upward on the body, looking for a place to attach. Their populations are greater than in the spring and summer following a mild winter.
Ticks have a 4-stage life cycle: egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. The nymph and adult forms are able to attach to humans and other animals and possibly transmit diseases.
A tick bite is not painful and may go unnoticed. In most cases, the tick simply bites, draws blood for its nourishment, and drops off. If the tick happens to be infected, the infectious agent is transmitted during the feeding process. It is important to realize the majority of ticks are not infected.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Avoid tick-infested areas.
Wear light-colored clothing so ticks can be seen.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and tuck pants into socks.
Apply insect repellants containing DEET to clothing and exposed skin. Read guidelines on the can for application on children.
Check your body thoroughly for ticks.
The number of ticks in endemic residential areas may be reduced by removing leaf litter, brush and woodpiles around houses and at the edges of yards, and by clearing trees and brush to admit more sunlight and reduce the amount of suitable habitat for deer, rodents, and ticks. Tick populations have also been effectively suppressed through the application of pesticides to residential properties.
HOW TO REMOVE A TICK
Use tweezers. Grasp the tick by the head as close as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure. DO NOT TWIST, JERK OR SQUEEZE THE TICK.
Thoroughly wash the bite with soap and water and disinfect the bite. Wash your hands.
Never remove a tick with fingernail polish, alcohol or hot matches.
TESTING OF TICKS
Currently, the Fort Wayne - Allen County Department of Health does not have means to have ticks tested for diseases. We can identify the tick and provide information on what diseases it could carry. If symptoms appear, a physician can be informed what kind of tick it was and disease the tick could carry. Then appropriate treatment can occur.
(Information taken from CDC websites)
Tick: American dog tick (Dermacentor variablis); Largest tick in Indiana; Most prevalent in Allen County; Appears from April to July; Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum) can also carry and transmit RMSF
Agent: Rickettsia ricketsii
Incubation: 5 - 10 days after bite
Fever, nausea, vomiting, severe headache, muscle pain, and lack of appetite
Rash, abdominal pain, joint pain, and diarrhea
Tick: Black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis); Smallest tick in Indiana; Appears from September to November
Agent: Borrelia burgdorferi
Incubation: 3 - 30 days after bite
"Bulls-eye" rash, tiredness, fever, headache, stiff neck, muscle ache, and joint pain
Arthritis, large joint swelling and pain, neurologic abnormalities, and encephalitis
Tick: Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum); White-tailed deer are a major host
Agent: Ehrlichia chaffeensis
Incubation: 5 - 10 days after bite
Fever, headache, malaise, and muscle aches
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, joint pains, confusion, and occasionally rash
American Dog Tick
Lone Star Tick
- Tick Brochure
- Ticks and Disease in Indiana
- Public Health Risk of Ticks
- ISDH Info on Ticks
- Diagnosis and Management of Tickborne Rickettsial Diseases: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichioses, and Anaplasmosis - United States
- Lyme Disease Support Group
- TickEncounter Resource Center
- Prevention Tips
- Guide to Control Ticks
More Articles: General Information • FAQ • Animal Bites & Rabies • Bed Bugs • Built Environment • Childhood Lead Poisoning • Childhood Lead Screening • Children's Environmental Health Protection • Cockroaches • Healthy Homes • Indoor Air Quality • Integrated Pest Management • Lodging Establishments • Meth Labs • Mold • Mosquitoes • Mosquitoes - Biology • Mosquitoes - Diseases • Mosquitoes - Prevention & Control • Pests & Other Vectors • Radon • Rats & Mice - Biology & Diseases • Rats & Mice - Control • Unsanitary Conditions • Unwanted Refrigerators & Freezers
Mosquitoes only need about a 1/4 inch depth of water to go through their life cycle. They can emerge from bottle caps as adults.