Study Finds Deer Tick Populations on the Rise in Indiana

Posted on May 25, 2018

Mouse with a tick on its head

Researchers from Indiana University have found increasing numbers of deer ticks in Southern India. Deer ticks are a known vector for Lyme disease. The photograph above shows a mouse with another species of tick on its head. The study's findings coincide with a recent CDC report that found transmission of diseases from ticks, mosquitoes and fleas has tripled since 2004 in the U.S.

Climate change is one of the reasons the dick population is expanding. Elimination of natural tick predators could be another. Opossums are known for consuming ticks.

The researchers also note that the lone star tick is also spreading in Indiana. It can transmit a bacterial infection called ehrlichiosis. Some people also develop a potentially serious allergy to red meat after being bitten by the tick. The Gulf Coast tick, which can cause Tidewater fever, has recently been established in Tennessee and Maryland.

IU professor Keith Clay, says in a statement, "If the Gulf Coast tick is as aggressive and fast-moving as the lone star tick, it's just a matter of time before it enters Indiana. The biggest difference between these diseases and some other tick-borne illnesses is their threat to human life. Lyme disease can make you miserable, but it won't kill you."

Image: Clay Lab/Indiana University