Early identification and accurate information are vital in effectively responding to human and animal interaction with ticks, said experts in the entomology department at Texas A&M University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in College Station.

To help in that response, they have developed and introduced a free mobile Internet smart phone application called “The Tick App for Texas and the Southern Region” or simply “The TickApp.”

"Ticks are blood-feeding parasites capable of causing irritation, inflammation and infection in animals and humans, as well as transmitting the pathogens that cause tick-borne diseases," said Dr. Pete Teel, Texas AgriLife Research professor and associate entomology department head.  "We are frequently contacted for assistance from lay and professional audiences to identify ticks and answer questions about their biology, distribution and control, as well as the potential for acquiring a tick-borne disease.”

The TickApp was developed as a mobile application that resides as an Internet website providing in-depth content on tick identification, biology, ecology, prevention and management, and was designed for primary delivery on smart phones such as BlackBerry, Droid, and iPhone using Internet browsers, Teel said. It also can be accessed by desktop or laptop computer, as well as other personal portable electronic devices.

The mobile app is available at http://tickapp.tamu.edu, and future developments will include availability as a downloadable PDF for offline use.