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Got Ticks? There’s an App for that.

Ticks. They're awful. Image source: CDC

We’ve all heard the stories – Mild winter!  Longer tick season!  Disease! Pestilence! Hide your pets and children!  But it’s summer, and at some point you’re most likely going to be out and about amongst the blood-sucking vermin.  And even when you take the recommended precautions – protective clothing, insect repellents, flea and tick treatments for pets – you may still come into contact with a tick. So what’s an outdoor loving person – or a person with outdoor-loving pets – to do?

Fortunately, NC State entomologists have come up with a quick and easy way for you to deal with the aftermath of a tick encounter – a free app for your iPhone that will help you identify exactly what species of tick you’re dealing with. The app also gives you tips for proper removal and lets you know what to watch out for, just in case the tick bite goes bad.

The app is called TickID, and its function is as straightforward as its name.  It has photos of the male and female deer, dog, and lone star tick, tells you what sorts of diseases each species can transmit to humans – like Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis or Rocky Mountain spotted fever – and gives you links to more information about each species.

TickID was developed by entomologist Mike Roe and students Anirudh Dhammi, William Blankenship and Joshua Cundiff, along with bioinformatics professor Stan Martin and biologist Daniel Sonenshine from Old Dominion University. You can download TickID for your iPhone or iPad at the app store – just search “TickID.” Did I mention it’s free?