Texas Ranked Third Most Vulnerable State for Tick-Borne Illnesses


AUSTIN, TX — Texas has been ranked the third most vulnerable state for tick-borne illnesses, according to a recent study by Pest Gnome to mark National Lyme Disease Awareness Month. 

The study ranked 2024’s worst states for tick-borne diseases, evaluating all 50 states across six categories.

The study considered annual rates of diseases like Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). It also factored in environmental elements such as forest areas, hiking trails, and the duration of tick and flea seasons among 25 total metrics.

Twelve states, including Texas, California, and Washington, tied with the longest tick and flea season at twelve months. Although Texas reported lower instances of Lyme disease, it tied with Oklahoma for the most diverse tick species, including American Dog, Gulf Coast, and Lone Star ticks. These species can cause illnesses like Ehrlichiosis, Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), and alpha-gal syndrome.

Lyme disease remains most prevalent in the Northeast, with New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey ranking first, second, and thirtieth, respectively. New York recorded the highest number of Lyme disease cases in 2022, approximately 16,800. Rhode Island, ranked eleventh, reported the highest rate of Lyme disease cases at 212 per 100,000 residents annually.

States like Utah, Arizona, and Hawaii ranked towards the bottom, with Hawaii in the last place. Notably, black-legged and western black-legged ticks, which carry Lyme disease, are not found in Hawaii or six other states, including Idaho and Alaska.

Hikers, parents, and pet lovers in Texas are advised to remain vigilant and take precautions against ticks, especially during outdoor activities. For detailed state rankings and methodology, visit Pest Gnome’s website.

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