Tick Talk: Tips To Avoid Bringing Home An “Unwanted Guest”


Tick season is well underway across Delmarva.

Ticks can show up and bite just about anywhere outdoors: wooded areas, your yard, even at the beach.

According to Dr. Ashley Kennedy of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources, the state’s tick biologist, tick population may be slightly down compared to 2021 bUt overall it has been growing.

“It seems like on average populations are increasing. Ticks are expanding their ranges. More and more of them are surviving over the winter because we’ve tended to have milder winters than we used to,” Kennedy told WGMD News.
Kennedy suggested that to minimize the risk of a tick bite, wear long sleeves and long pants tucked into your socks if you are venturing into an area with high tick populations. Also, thoroughly check yourself for ticks when you come in from the outdoors.

If you find a tick has latched onto you, Kennedy said to get it out with a pair of tweezers -hopefully in one piece. Redness or soreness may occur. If you have concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.

“They may advise starting you on prophylactic antibiotics even before you have any symptoms, or based on your risk you might take a wait-and-see approach and just see if any symptoms develop first,” Kennedy said.

DNREC also has introduced a new online feature that allows Delawareans to report a tick interaction, and to upload a photo of the tick if it’s available. This could help determine if the species is associated with any tick-borne diseases.

More information below is from DNREC:

Read more about Dr. Kennedy’s work in “Tick-Tock – the Ticks Are Waiting” in Outdoor Delaware online magazine.

Other tick facts include:

  • In Delaware, ticks are everywhere, but most bites occur in backyards.
  • Ticks do not jump or fall out of trees; they wait on grass or other plants for a host to walk by so they can grab on.  
  • Ticks are active year-round, not just in late spring/early summer which is prime “tick season.”
  • Several different types of ticks are found in Delaware, and several types can carry different pathogens that can infect humans including Lyme disease.

More information about ticks can be found at de.gov/ticks and de.gov/lyme.