Tick activity high in Iowa right now


(Ames, IA) -- Iowans spending time outdoors right now, could be at risk for picking up a tick on their clothes. Ryan Smith of Iowa State University's Entomology Department says May and June are typically the most active times for ticks. He says there are several species in the state including the deer tick, also known as the black legged tick. He says that's the that carries Lyme Disease. Other common species are the American dog tick, wood tick and lone star tick.

He says tick populations are higher in the eastern half of the state, but there are pockets in central Iowa as well.

Smith reminds Iowans to check their clothes for ticks if they spend time in grassy areas, and remove them right away. He says ticks are very good at finding places to hide on the body, and become attached. The ticks become engorged as they suck blood. He says tweezers or forceps are the best way to remove ticks from skin.

(Photo and graph from Iowa State University Entomology)