5 Types of Ticks Found in Illinois

Ticks are a common problem in Illinois, and they can transmit a variety of diseases to humans and pets. There are several types of ticks found in Illinois, and it’s important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with each. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 types of ticks found in Illinois and the diseases they can transmit.

American Dog Tick

The American dog tick is one of the most common ticks found in Illinois. They are brown in color with white or yellowish markings and are most active during the spring and summer months. American dog ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia to humans.

Blacklegged Tick (Deer Tick)

Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, are a significant health risk in Illinois. They are small and black with a reddish-brown abdomen and are most active from late spring to early fall. Blacklegged ticks can transmit Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis to humans.

Brown Dog Tick

Brown dog ticks are less common in Illinois than other tick species, but they can still be found in the state. They are reddish-brown in color and prefer to feed on dogs, although they can bite humans. Brown dog ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever to humans.

Lone Star Tick

The Lone Star tick is a common tick species found in Illinois. They are brown with a distinctive white spot on the female’s back and are most active from March to July. Lone Star ticks can transmit ehrlichiosis and southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI) to humans.

Gulf Coast Tick

The Gulf Coast tick is not as common in Illinois as other tick species, but it is still a concern for public health. They are brown with white or yellow markings and are most active from April to August. Gulf Coast ticks can transmit human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) and Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis to humans.

It’s essential to take precautions to avoid tick bites, especially when spending time outdoors. Wear long sleeves and pants, use insect repellent, and check your body for ticks after being outside. If you find a tick, remove it promptly with tweezers. Be sure to monitor your health and seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of a tick-borne illness.