Rapid Tick Increase Expected in Northeast, Mid-Atlantic States this Spring/Summer
A "Surge of Ticks" is expected in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States Due to a Wet and Mild 2018 Winter.
As temperatures continue to rise, the tick population will likely continue to increase from last summer and fall as ticks make their way out after being able to survive through a mild and wet winter.
"Ticks, like most small organisms, are very sensitive to dry weather. It kills them," said Dina M. Fonseca, a Rutgers entomology professor and director of its the Center for Vector Biology. "But we have been experiencing exceptionally wet seasons. It slows down their decline in number. So we could end up for a very large population this year."
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in an article talks through this issue by stating:
"The development and survival of ticks, their animal hosts (such as deer), and the bacterium that causes Lyme disease are all strongly influenced by climatic factors, especially temperature, precipitation, and humidity. Most occurrences of Lyme disease in the U.S. are in the Northeast, particularly Connecticut. An expansion of the geographic area in which ticks can survive may lead to more people having contact with infected ticks. In regions where Lyme disease already exists, milder winters result in fewer disease-carrying ticks dying during winter. This can increase the overall tick population, which increases the risk of contracting Lyme disease in those areas."
The CDC provides tips for how to prevent tick bites:
Tick exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active during warmer months (April-September).
Before You Go Outdoors
- Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood.
- Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. Alternatively, you can buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents Externa containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. EPA’s helpful search tool can help you find the product that best suits your needs. Always follow product instructions.
- Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
- Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.
- Avoid Contact with Ticks
- Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
- Walk in the center of trails
All of our Insect Xtreme line of clothing is treated with Skintex MR III micro-encapsulated Permithrin and is the only micro-encapsulated insect repellent approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Plus, it’s odorless.
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