SUMMIT COUNTY -- The Summit County Public Health department says this may be the worst year ever for ticks, and summer is prime season.
Since May, the environmental health supervisor says over a dozen tick specimens have been brought in for examination and testing.
Usually, the health department receives one or two samples a year.
At Cuyahoga Valley National Park, tick alert signs are posted, reminding visitors to protect themselves from the blood sucking bugs.
"Ticks have been expanding their ranges northward, and they're into Canada now. Northeast Ohio was a nice haven where we didn't have to deal with ticks forever, and I think our world has changed," says Lisa Petit, Chief of Science and Resource Management at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The most common species of tick in Northeast Ohio is the American dog tick, which can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
While not all ticks carry the disease, Petit says everyone needs to be checking themselves, their children and pets after a day outdoors, even in the backyard.
"The climate change is happening, and we are getting warmer temperatures that are more conducive to the survival of ticks," Petit says.
She recommends long pants tucked into socks or boots, and long sleeves.
Repellant with the ingredient DEET or Permethrin is useful for keeping ticks away.
The CDC has a list of recommendations on how to identify ticks, safely remove them, and what warning signs of illness to look for.
Click on the link on this page for more information.