COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Of all the creepy-crawlies Texans live among, ticks are the worst when it comes to the health issues of man and beast, said Dr. Pete Teel, Texas AgriLife Research entomologist.

"To complicate matters, Texas is home to 11 common species of ticks, all with their own brand of disease-carrying specialties, so it’s important to know what you’re dealing with and how to manage it," Teel said.

"The TickApp,, tells you all you need to know in one central location," he said. "So whether you are a healthcare professional needing fast tick identification information, an urban pet owner slogging through the bewildering arsenal of control alternatives or a South Texas cattleman facing financial hardship due to ticks, the app is meant for you."

Teel said the mobile smart-phone app is available at no charge. It’s designed to be easy to use while offering the most information with minimal searching.

"It’s all very user friendly," Teel said. "It opens with just six easy to follow tabs that are accurate and quick to navigate. There’s a brief introduction, then a tick ID tab followed by tabs on tick biology, prevention and protection, removal and finally control and management practices."

Teel said all the information is professionally vetted, regularly updated and for use by anyone, though attribution is requested of those who plan to reproduce the material.

"This year is shaping up to be one of the worst ever for ticks," Teel said. "The record heat and drought last year, followed by rains over much of the populated parts of the state this year, are the perfect recipe for tick encounters by you, your family, your pets or livestock. Know what you’re dealing with by becoming familiar with the TickApp. It may be one of the best decisions you make all summer."