Ticks are very effective at transmitting disease. They are responsible for more human disease than any other insect in the United States. They can become infected at any of their life stages by feeding on an infected mammal or bird.
Familiarize yourself with ticks and tickborne disease with this educational presentation provided by Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
In Missouri at there are six known tick borne diseases:
New: Heartland Disease. Transmitted by the Lone Star tick. More about this emerging tick borne medical condition that was discovered in Missouri's Heartland.
- Heartland Disease
- Lyme-Like Disease (STARI)
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Symptoms of Tick Borne Disease
The signs and symptoms of tick-borne disease vary from person to person and according to the disease. If a person experiences a sudden high fever, severe headache, muscle or joint aches, or nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea and if these symptoms occur following a tick bite, or even after exposure to tick habitat, a health care provider should seen. Another possible sign of tick-borne disease is a rash or pus-filled wound that appears at the site of a tick bite, or a spreading rash that follows a tick bite or exposure to tick habitat. Always Remember to Check For Ticks frequently!
Controlling Ticks Around Your Home
Use landscaping techniques to create a tick-safe zone around homes, parks, and recreational areas. Ticks that transmit Lyme disease thrive in humid wooded areas. They die quickly in sunny and dry environments. Here are some simple landscaping techniques to help reduce tick populations:
- Remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edges of lawns.
- Place wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to restrict tick migration to recreational areas.
- Mow the lawn and clear brush and leaf litter frequently.
- Keep the ground under bird feeders clean.
- Stack wood neatly and in dry areas.
- Keep playground equipment, decks and patios away from yard edges and trees.
Other guidelines for tick management can be found in the Tick Management Handbook. Learn more about ticks and how to control them at the University of Missouri Extension Center.
Proper Tick Removal