There are several methods for tick surveillance including both active and passive methods. These include tick drags and tick collections from animals.
Active surveillance is used to determine whether a species of tick is established within a certain area. Researchers collect tick specimens using various methods including flagging or dragging, collection from host animals and trapping ticks in carbon dioxide baited traps. Passive surveillance includes specimen submission to public health departments or disease surveillance laboratories by veterinarians, physicians and the general public. Gulf Coast tick nymphs appear shiny and can range in color from dark bluish gray to a dull white. They are approximately 1.33 mm by 0.75mm. Adults can grow to 6mm in length. Adult females have a dark brown scutum with silvery white ornamentation near the head that includes three lateral interrupted stripes. The adult male has a scutum that covers the entire top of the tick, is dark brown wither interconnected silvery white lines. These ticks are found in coastal regions along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico (text from: http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/wisconsin-ticks/tick-surveillance/).