With tick season on Illinois and summer approaching, health officials have provided a way to track ticks in the area, urging residents to check themselves and loved ones for tick bites on the go. ‘outside.
Here is a surveillance map from the Illinois Department of Public Health, making it easier to track insects.
Once you have visited the link, click on the tick type in the tabs at the top. A map will appear showing where the insect type has been reported or established in counties across the state.
The blacklegged tick, which has a confirmed population in Cook County, is most commonly found in heavily wooded areas. Adults tend to be most active in the spring and fall and can transmit Lyme disease, babesiosis, and possibly ehrlichiosis to humans.
Another species of tick that has been found in Cook County, the lone star tick, is most active from April through July. This type of tick is not known to transmit Lyme disease, but can be associated with other bacteria.
According to IDPH, people should check themselves, their pets and their children for ticks after spending time near wooded areas, tall grass and brush.
Here are some tips to avoid stings:
- Walk in the center of the outdoor trails, avoiding wooded and busy areas with tall grass and fallen leaves
- Wear light-colored clothing, which makes it easier to spot ticks. Tuck pants into socks and boots, if possible
- Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent = “containing 20% DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or lemon eucalyptus oil according to label instructions”
- Perform full-body tick checks on family members every two to three hours. Also check equipment or pets
- Put clothes in the dryer on high for 10 minutes — or an hour for damp clothes — to kill ticks
- Take a bath or shower within two hours of entering indoors
- If you find a tick on yourself, IDPH recommends keeping the insect for species identification. Place the tick in rubbing alcohol or a sealed container and take it to a healthcare provider
For more information on removing ticks and identifying symptoms, click here.
In addition to Lyme disease, ticks can carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis, according to health officials. Removing ticks within 24 hours of a bite can reduce the risk of these diseases.
If a person becomes ill with a fever or a rash after being in an area where ticks are commonly found, they should contact a health care provider. Health officials have warned that some tick-borne diseases can be life-threatening.
For more information, click here.