Ticks | St. Louis Public Radio

Ticks

Lone Star ticks are one of the most common ticks in Missouri. It carries ehrlichiosis, which causes flu-like symptoms, among other diseases.
Provided |U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Amid an increase in tick-borne illnesses this year, Missouri health officials have launched a study to trap and test ticks for diseases. 

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study ticks at Meramec State Park. The research, which began in June, aims to understand how ticks spread rare diseases, such as the Bourbon and Heartland viruses. Last month, a Missouri resident tested positive for the Bourbon virus.

Lone Star ticks are one of the most common ticks in Missouri. It carries ehrlichiosis, which causes flu-like symptoms, among other diseases.
Provided |U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This year’s mild winter and early spring has plants flowering and putting out leaves about three weeks sooner than usual. Ticks and mosquitoes have also been spotted early.

So with all this warm weather, we can expect a particularly bad bug season, right?

Missouri Department of Conservation natural history biologist Mike Arduser says not necessarily. “I hate to use the phrase “old wives’ tale,” but…”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 22, 2008 - The 1002nd use for duct tape? Tape the bottom of your pants to the top of your hiking boots to keep ticks from crawling up your legs.

To many of us, summer outdoors in Missouri not only means lush forests and clear streams, but also ticks and chiggers. Both belong to the mite family of eight-legged creatures. But while chigger bites cause only intense itching, a tick bite can cause a serious disease.