Illinois quick hits: Arson Awareness Week; invasive tick found; tips for pets and cicadas



Arson Awareness Week

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal is raising awareness about the seriousness of the crime of arson during Arson Awareness Week. This year’s theme is Protecting Houses of Worship Against Arson. According to the United States Fire Administration, each year from 2020 to 2022, an estimated average of 1,300 fires in places of worship were reported to fire departments in the U.S. These fires resulted in an estimated annual average of over $74 million in property loss.

Invasive tick found

Illinois is the 20th state to discover the Asian longhorned tick. The tick, considered an invasive species, was found on April 12 during routine active tick surveillance in Morgan County as part of an Illinois Department of Public Health grant-funded active tick surveillance program. While the tick was first introduced to the U.S. in 2017, this is the first known collection of this tick species from anywhere in Illinois. The tick is capable of carrying tick borne diseases that affect cattle.

Tips for pets and cicadas

The Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control is urging pet owners to take special precautions to protect the health and welfare of their pets as two different groups of cicadas emerge simultaneously. Billions of cicadas are expected to emerge in Illinois in late May or early June. Officials said cicadas do not bite or sting and are not toxic to pets, so interactions are generally safe. However, the noise, size and movements of cicadas may be startling to some pets.

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