DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Health and Environment sent out a request asking people who find ticks to send them in the mail.
“I think with things like climate change and all the moisture, we’re going to see an uptick,” Lorna McCallister, the target species manager at Butterfly Pavilion, said.
McCallister said ticks have always been in Colorado, and disease transmission is lower compared to other states. But it’s always important to double-check your body and clothes for them if you go out in a tick-prone area.
“It’s good if you get them early to prevent anything from spreading,” McCallister said.
In Colorado, she said, there has never been a confirmed case of Lyme disease coming from a tick in the state. She said people who have Lyme disease get it while they are traveling out of state.
“As far as I know, there has never been Lyme disease from a Colorado tick,” said Dr. Eric Hill, an emergency medical physician at Medical Center for Aurora.
What to do if you find a tick
Hill said once you see the tick, it’s important to pull the entire thing off with tweezers. He did say, however, that if a tick is carrying the disease, it will take a few days to burrow and transmit anything.
“It’s not like it will happen right away,” Hill said. “You have a few days. Just be diligent — that’s the best prevention.”
Shannon Miller, who was born and raised in Colorado, said she was bit by a tick while visiting Texas as a kid. She said it led to her being diagnosed with Lyme disease.
“It has impacted everything,” Miller said.
She said the disease has a full body impact and she’s had to adapt her entire life around it. But she said it’s good to hear the state health department is looking to keep an eye on which species of ticks are in the state.
Those interested in sending a tick can fill out this submission form. The form asks questions about where the tick was found and whether it was on an animal or a human.
Once the form is filled out, the tick can be sent double-bagged in a zip-close plastic bag and mailed to the entomology lab.