The Iowa Department of Public Health, with collaboration from veterinarians across the state, has completed the first six weeks of their new tick surveillance project. The primary purpose of this study is to identify the number and variety of ticks found in Iowa. Of the samples collected so far, approximately 68 percent were identified as American dog ticks. More than a quarter were determined to be Black-legged ticks, more commonly known as deer ticks, with the remaining five percent identified as Lone Star ticks. All three species are known to be vectors for tick-borne illnesses, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Last year, 333 cases of tick-borne illnesses were identified in Iowa. Officials say this surveillance serves as a reminder of the importance of preventing tick bites, especially as people begin to spend more time outdoors due to warmer weather. For more information on ticks and the diseases they can potentially carry, follow the link included with this story on our website.