Video Here (Approx. 30 Min)

Newsmakers: Tick-Borne Illness Center Readies for 2020 Tick Season

On May 26, 2020, WisconsinEye senior producer Steve Walters sat down with Erin Biertzer, president of the Howard Young Foundation, and Dr. Andreas Kogelnik, director of the Tick-Borne Illness Center of Excellence, to discuss the 2020 tick season in honor of Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

According to Russel Labs, there are predominantly FOUR ticks to be concerned about in Wisconsin: (Click on the drop-down menu)

The black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis)

The Lone Star Tick (amblyomma americanum)

The Wood Tick/American Dog Tick (dermacentor variables) 

The Brown Dog Tick (rhipicephalus sangineus) rare in Wisconsin and usually found on dogs.  It is able to complete its life cycle indoors in homes or kennels.

Please keep in mind that ticks are constantly being found in places they’ve never been found before – mainly due to migrating birds:

Treat each and every tick bite as seriously as a heart attack.

One that is marching across the United States is the Asian Long-horned tick.  Previously only considered a livestock pest, it has been found to transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in a lab setting, and is known to transmit Lyme disease (they say rarely), while in Asia transmit SFTS (sever fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome), an emerging hemorrhagic fever, and is associated with spotted fever rickettsioses, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia:

Again, the unique quality of these ticks is their ability to reproduce by cloning:

As to it being in Wisconsin:


There’s no question in entomologist Phil Pellitteri’s mind that it will be able to reach, and likely thrive, in Wisconsin.

“I’ve seen the distribution maps … and it will be able to survive quite well in Wisconsin,” Pellitteri said in a Dec. 19, 2018 interview on Wisconsin Public Radio’s The Larry Meiller Show. “Now, how long it takes to get here is another interesting question.”