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Tick Season Is Here. Here’s How To Protect Yourself

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Tick Season
FILE - This undated photo provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a blacklegged tick, also known as a deer tick. Another mild winter and other favorable factors likely means the 2024 tick population will be equal to last year or larger, some researchers say. (CDC via AP, File)

(CTN News) – When the U.S. tick season begins, researchers warn that tick numbers may be higher than ever.

Some researchers expect the tick population to be the same or larger in 2024 due to another warm winter and other favorable factors.

The CDC’s Susanna Visser said, “It’s quite awful and has only been growing worse.”

Rare illnesses move to new places when tick species increase. Gulf Coast and lone star ticks have been found in New York and other northern states.

Black-legged Tick Season,

Which spread Lyme disease in the woods, are the main concern of experts. U.S. health officials predict 500,000 Lyme disease cases per year, peaking in May.

2019 predictions and safety tips.

WATCH IT

The eight-legged ticks feed on humans and animals. Tick bites can spread disease-causing germs.

Tick counts fluctuate each year, but scientists agree they are a growing health problem in several US states.

Most eastern US ticks, black-legged Tick Season, feed on deer. They were abundant long ago, dropped when woods were removed and deer were hunted, and then returned with vibrant woodlands and deer. Ticks moved from New England and the Midwest to the South and Great Plains.

Tick populations cycle annually due to many factors. They prefer warm, humid regions and stand out after mild winters. It also counts mice and deer to feed.

Studies show black-legged tick populations have grown for 40 years.

Rebecca Eisen, CDC Tick Season expert and research scientist, calls this a slow-moving epidemic.

Forecast for 2024 tick season

Weather might affect tick season.

While cold, dry winters can reduce tick populations, others attribute recent mild winters to climate change.

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station insect researcher Scott Williams says “Winter no longer limit tick populations.”

Ticks survive heat but hibernate in dry summers. That happened in Maine in 2020–2022, according to MaineHealth Institute for Research vector ecologist Chuck Lubelczyk.

Last year’s extremely rainy weather increased tick activity in Maine, where Lyme disease is most prevalent. The meteorological service predicts more precipitation and warmer temperatures, so “on paper, at least, it could be a very good year for ticks,” says Lubelczyk.

Mild Wisconsin winters keep adult ticks away longer. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ entomologist Xia Lee said Tick Season nymphs are emerging and a wet spring may increase their population.

New York too.

SUNY Upstate Medical University tick researcher Saravanan Thangamani said “it will be as bad as last year, or worse.”

LIME IS ILLNESS?

Experts expect 20% to 30% of Northeast and Midwest blacklegged tick nymphs to carry Lyme disease germs in spring and summer.

Lyme disease causes fever, headache, fatigue, and a bull’s-eye rash three to thirty days following a bite. See a doctor for antibiotics after biting.

Keep irritating you

Preventing Tick Season is ideal, say experts.

Note treed areas and grassland-forest transitions when you go outside. Ticks extend their upper legs among the leaves at ankle height before biting dogs and humans.

EPA-registered insect repellents, light-colored permethrin-treated clothing, and walking on sidewalks are good ideas.

CHECK-LISTING

Check for ticks upon entry. They can appear anywhere, but the underarms, belly button, neck, hairline, behind the knees, and waist are the most prevalent locations.

Young ones are hard to spot, so remove them immediately.

Insufficient data may result from multiple tick bites, hence the CDC advises against sending ticks to testing institutions.

SEE ALSO:

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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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