In Pennsylvania, there are 25 different species of ticks.
The four most common species are:
- Deer tick, Ixodes scapularis
- Dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis
- Groundhog tick, Ixodes cookie
- Lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum
Different species of ticks are known to transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, and Powassan virus. Preliminary studies even suggest that the Lone star tick's bite may be the cause of recent rises of meat allergies in adults.
It is important to be vigilant for ticks after working or playing outside.
Conduct full-body tick checks and examine gear and pets for ticks.
- In the United States, Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne illness.
- Pennsylvania has historically ranked in the top 3 states for Lyme Disease.
- Deer ticks (AKA: blacklegged ticks or Ixodes scapularis) are the main vector of Lyme disease.
- Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which ticks often carry and transmit to humans.
- A study in 2012 found 52% of ticks tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi.
- The deer tick must be attached and feeding for 24 to 48 hours to transmit Lyme disease.
- High densities of mice and deer allow for tick populations to expand and disperse, increasing the likelihood of humans being bitten.
Public support is critical to help keep this vital service operational and funded. Contact your State Representatives to keep them informed of your public support.
Since 2018 funding has been allocated by the State for preliminary tick surveillance in public areas such as State Game Lands, municipal parks, and state parks. Ticks collected will be then tested for Lyme Disease. Based on the results, measures may be put into place to reduce the probability of contact a citizen has with tick populations.
In November of 2014,Senate Bill #177, The Lyme and Related Tick-Borne Disease Surveillance, Education, Prevention Act was signed. This act is the result of many years of advocacy.
Creation of the Lyme Disease Task Force
- Taskforce of medical personal to improve care and prevention
- Develop a public education program
- Develop surveillance, testing, and prevention program
- Multiple agency collaboration:
- Health Department
- Game Commission
- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
- Department of Education
- Department of Environmental Protection