If you’re interested in finding a hub near you so that you can begin being an I-TICK participant, head over to our How I-TICK Works page and look under “How does it work for an individual participant.” We provide an up-to-date map on the locations of our hubs as well as an extensive list with information on how to get in contact with a public hub.
If you’d like to become a volunteer for I-TICK but we currently do not have a hub in your county, we suggest still taking a look at our map and seeing if there a close hub nearby. We are currently working on making sure every county in Illinois has at least one public hub to drop off tick-kits. If you still have any questions concerning how to get involved, please contact Peg Gronemeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your contact information so that we can let you know when we have added a hub in your area.
Absolutely not! Our I-TICK team distributes our kits to hubs that are participating at no cost to the hub or the participants. We provide the return labels and don’t charge for the materials provided as we are only interested in the information the ticks bring to our research. To put it shortly, participation is free and we encourage your participation!
If you find a tick crawling on you or a pet, use tweezers to remove it and put it in a vial of alcohol so that it may be properly preserved for the program. The knowledge that I-TICK participants help us collect helps the Illinois Department of Public Health identify areas of higher risk of tick-borne illnesses within the state of Illinois. Don’t feel obligated to send us the tick if you are worried you have come in contact with an infected tick. Bring it with you to a healthcare location if you deem it necessary.
We have also provided a safety instruction sheet on how to properly remove a tick which can also be accessed through our How I-TICK Works under “I-TICK kit.” It is important to remember that not all ticks carry pathogens that cause disease. Particular tick species carry certain pathogens that in turn can cause a disease if the tick bites an animal. To learn about the most common ticks here in Illinois and the pathogens they spread, revert back to our How I-TICK Works page under “Tick Identification”.
Unfortunately not. We do not test the ticks we collect for diseases until after tick season is over and the testing is random. By the time the ticks are tested, the incubation period will have already passed on so it would be of no help in terms of receiving proper medical care. It is also unlikely that we will be able to share the data collected if a specific tick you sent through the I-TICK program tested positive for a disease. However, if you would like to have a tick that was attached tested, you can visit the TickEncounter website for more details. It is important to note that the CDC does not recommend testing ticks for diagnosis. To learn more, please visit the CDC’s website about Tick Removal and Testing.
Ticks begin to roam during spring to early fall. It is during this time of year that ticks begin to come out and bite so it is especially important to practice proper tick precautions during the months of May to October.
Tick-borne diseases are diseases that get transmitted by ticks. Note that they are not specifically caused by the tick itself but rather the tick acts as a vector for the disease. The diseases are caused by the bacterium the ticks happen to be carrying such as Lyme disease or Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks themselves are not born carrying these diseases and acquire it from feeding on an infected host so not every tick transmits diseases, only if they have become infected.