Ticks in Alabama

Alabama is a state known for its diverse outdoor recreation areas that offer a multitude of activities and breathtaking natural beauty. From towering mountains to serene lakes and pristine beaches, the state has something to offer everyone seeking an outdoor adventure. Unfortunately, Alabama is also home to a wide variety of dangerous ticks.

Ticks that live in Alabama may include the blacklegged tick (deer tick), American dog tick, brown dog tick, Lone Star tick, Asian longhorned tick, poultry tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick, Cayenne tick, Gulf Coast tick, and Pacific Coast tick. As ticks actively expand their habitats across the United States designating defined geographical regions as the sole place of residence of any given tick is becoming a fleeting challenge.

Ticks in Alabama are a threat everywhere, from the deep forest to urban backyards. These lethal arachnids employ a behavior known as "questing", a passive strategy where they position themselves in vegetation, such as tall grasses or shrubs, and wait for a potential host to pass by.

Ticks have specialized sensory organs located on their legs, known as Haller's organs, which can detect stimuli such as heat, carbon dioxide, vibrations, and odor. When a human or animal approaches a waiting tick senses these stimuli and reacts by extending its legs outward, latching on as you pass by.

Once a tick has hitched a ride, it will crawl to a secluded location on your body, attach, and feed on your blood. Ticks secrete a unique substance that prevents you from feeling their bite, so they can feast unnoticed. Disease transmission may occur. The mouthparts of a tick are built like a backward saw blade; attached ticks are not easy to remove. Make sure to practice smart and careful tick removal procedure if you are bitten. Read our expert guide on how to remove a tick for more information.

Popular outdoor areas in Alabama that are also home to ticks:

One of the most iconic outdoor destinations in Alabama is the Gulf Coast. Stretching for miles along the southern edge of the state, the Gulf Coast boasts stunning white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. Popular beach towns such as Gulf Shores and Orange Beach attract visitors from near and far who come to enjoy swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding. The Gulf State Park, encompassing over 6,000 acres, is an excellent place to explore nature trails, camp, or spot wildlife.

Moving inland, the Bankhead National Forest is a natural gem in northwestern Alabama. Spanning over 180,000 acres, this forest offers a multitude of outdoor recreational activities. Hiking enthusiasts can venture through scenic trails, including the popular Sipsey Wilderness Area, known for its waterfalls and unique rock formations. The forest is also a haven for hunters, anglers, and birdwatchers, with abundant wildlife and numerous lakes and streams.

For those seeking breathtaking vistas and rugged terrain, the Cheaha State Park is a must-visit. Located in the Talladega Mountains, it is home to the highest point in Alabama, Mount Cheaha. Hikers can explore a variety of trails that wind through lush forests and lead to stunning overlooks offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. The park also features camping facilities, cabins, and a restaurant, making it an ideal destination for a weekend getaway.

Alabama is blessed with several picturesque lakes that provide opportunities for boating, fishing, and water recreation. Lake Martin, located in central Alabama, is a 44,000-acre reservoir known for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful shoreline. Boaters and anglers flock to this lake to enjoy water skiing, tubing, and fishing for bass, crappie, and catfish. Another popular lake is Lake Guntersville, stretching over 69,000 acres in northern Alabama. It is renowned for its bass fishing and is a favorite spot for anglers participating in tournaments.

For outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore unique geological formations, the Walls of Jericho is a hidden gem. Situated in the northeastern part of the state, this natural area offers a challenging hike through rugged terrain, eventually leading to a stunning 200-foot-deep natural amphitheater formed by towering limestone walls. The area is home to diverse plant and animal species, making it a haven for nature lovers.

Whether you're seeking the tranquility of a peaceful beach, the thrill of hiking through lush forests, or the excitement of water sports on a pristine lake, Alabama's diverse landscapes provide endless opportunities for outdoor exploration.

So, grab your hiking boots, your sense of adventure, and go experience all that Alabama has to offer. Just don’t forget your tick repellent. The wide variety of human biting ticks that call Alabama home commonly transmit over a dozen tick-borne diseases. Ticks are out there ruining lives every day, do not become a statistic.

Ticks in Alabama transmit conditions such as Lyme disease, tularemia, babesiosis, tick paralysis, Powassan virus, Heartland virus, Colorado tick fever, Borrelia miyamotoi disease, anaplasmosis, and Alfa gal allergy.

Major cities in Alabama that are home to ticks include Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, Mobile, Tuscaloosa, Hoover, Dothan, Decatur, Auburn, and Madison.

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