Tick Surveillance in Iowa

The Lyme Disease Surveillance Program regularly posts maps to show 1) where Iowan's typically encounter the three types of ticks that are most common in the state and 2) where Lyme  bacteria infected ticks have been collected.  Maps from recent years can be found through the menu bar at left.

Found a tick?

For many years, the Medical Entomology Lab at Iowa State University has been tracking the blacklegged (a.k.a. deer) tick, Ixodes scapularis, and the Lyme Disease-causing bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, in the state of Iowa. You can help in this effort! If you have been enjoying the outdoors and find a tick on yourself, a friend, family member, or pet, we'll gladly take the tick and identify it for you. When you find a tick of any sort, wrap it in tissue, add a blade of grass, and seal it in a zip-top plastic bag. Mail or bring this to:

Department of Entomology
Lyme Disease Project
436 Science Hall II
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-3222

Fill out this FORM, or provide your name and information about your tick encounter including, for example: where you found the tick (geographic location, on yourself or a pet), and whether or not it was attached on a slip of paper. In return, we’ll send you a postcard telling you what species of tick you found. 

Any blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) submitted are tested for the presence of the Lyme disease bacterium, Borellia burgdorferi.   The results from these tests help us to determine in what regions of the state there are populations of these ticks, and where those populations also might be transmitting the bacterium.    These tests are NOT diagnostic for the patient from which the tick was removed.  

Concerned about Lyme Disease? 

If you suspect that you were exposed to a blacklegged tick, and are concerned about Lyme Disease, please see the Centers for Disease Control website for more information, and contact your health care provider.