Tick-borne Illnesses

ticks

What to Know About Ticks

  • Ticks are blood sucking arthropods that feed on animals such as rodents, rabbits, deer, birds, and humans. 
  • Ticks can cause serious and potentially fatal diseases in humans. 
  • Ticks can be found in grassy and wooded areas or on animals. 

Tick FAQ's

If you have seen any ticks in or around your property in Houston/Harris County, please contact Harris County Public Health. 

For more information contact:

Harris County Public Health
Mosquito Control Division
3330 Old Spanish Trail, Bldg. D
Houston, TX 77021

Phone: 713.440.4800

For more information on tickborne disease visit: www.cdc.gov/ticks

How to Prevent Tick Bites How to Remove a Tick

 

  • Use EPA-approved insect repellent with 20-30% DEET 
  • Treat your clothing with permethrin
  • Tuck pants into boots or socks 
  • Perform daily tick checks
  • Shower when you return from being outdoors to locate ticks you may not have noticed

 

 

 

tick-removal

Use tweezers or forceps to grasp tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull straight up being careful not to squeeze, twist or jerk the tick.

See the CDC’s tick removal protocol for more information.


 Most Common Ticks in the U.S. of Public Health Importance 

Ticks   Causes
BLACK LEGGED
Widely distributed in the northeastern and upper Midwestern United States
Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Powassan encephalitis
GULF COAST
Coastal areas of the U.S. along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico

Male Gulf Coast Tick

Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, a form of spotted fever
LONE STAR
Widely distributed in the southeastern and eastern United States

Female%20Lone%20Star%20Tick

Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, and STARI
AMERICAN DOG
Widely distributed in the east of the Rocky Mountains. Also occurs in limited areas on the Pacific Coast

Female American Dog Tick

Tularemia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Common Tickborne Diseases in U.S.

Anaplasmosis is caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Typical symptoms include: fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches. Usually, these symptoms occur within 1-2 weeks of a tick bite.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is caused by the spotted fever group rickettsia, which are a type of bacteria. Most people who get sick with RMSF will have a fever, headache, and rash. Rash is the most common symptom.

Lyme Disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted through the bite of a tick. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.

Ehrlichiosis is caused by multiple ehrlichial species in the United States including Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii. Typical symptoms include: fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. Usually, these symptoms occur within 1-2 weeks following a tick bite.

Powassan Encephalitis caused by a rare flavivirus. Signs and symptoms of infection can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Long-term neurologic problems may occur.