Tick Management Handbook
by Kirby Stafford
Edition: 2004 & 2007
Bulletin No. 1010
The original 2004 edition was published as part of a community-based program for the prevention of tick-borne illness supported through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC funded publication of this tick handbook. A series of tick and tick-associated disease information sheets first developed by Dr. Kirby Stafford at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in 1992 and updated and expanded periodically was the original basis for this handbook.
Ticks have become an increasing problem to people and animals in the United States. Ticks are obligate blood-feeders that require an animal host to survive and reproduce. They feed on a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and even amphibians. While most ticks feed on specific host animals and are not considered to be of medical or veterinary importance, several ticks have a wide host range and attack people, pets, or livestock. Ticks can be a nuisance; their bites can cause irritation and, in the case of some ticks, paralysis. Severe infestations on animals can cause anemia, weight loss, and even death from the consumption of large quantities of blood. Ticks can also transmit many human and animal disease pathogens, which include viruses, bacteria, rickettsiae, and protozoa.