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Prevent Tick-borne Illnesses in Florida

Prevent Tick-borne Illnesses in Florida

This fall remains mild despite a couple of recent frosty mornings.

Lone Star Ticks carry Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness.

Lone Star Ticks carry Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness. Photo Courtesy of UF/IFAS Communications

With mild temperatures comes ticks.  Ticks carry and transmit several diseases.

Brown dog ticks are found mainly on dogs and can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

American dog ticks are also usually found on dogs but will also attach to other mammals and humans.  They also can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  American dog ticks can cause paralysis when they attach to the base of the skull or spinal column.  Recovery usually occurs within 24 hours of tick removal.

Gulf Coast Ticks are similar to the American dog tick with larger mouthparts.  They transmit a less severe relative of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Gulf Coast Ticks are commonly found on the ears of large mammals such as horses and cattle.

Lone Star Tick is the most common human-biting tick in Florida.  They transmit Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness which is similar to Lyme disease.

Black-legged tick, also called deer tick, is most commonly known as the carrier of Lyme disease.

Here are a few ways to prevent tick-borne illnesses:

  • Remove ticks as soon as possible
  • Wear light colored clothing so ticks can easily be seen
  • Keep all clothing buttoned, zipped and tucked-in
  • Use Repellents with 20-30% DEET on exposed skin
  • Apply Permethrins to clothing and allow them to dry before wearing
  • Avoid brushing against plants in tick-infested areas
  • Clear brush along pathways and walk in the middle of pathway

If you are bitten by a tick or develop symptoms, contact your physician.  Early diagnosis is best and makes treating tick disease easier and more effective.

 

For more information about Florida ticks, go to our Solutions for your Life website.

PG

Author: Jennifer Bearden – heady@ufl.edu

Agriculture Agent
Okaloosa County

Panhandle Outdoors

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2013/12/15/prevent-tick-borne-illnesses-in-florida/