After a cold winter, you would think that most ticks would have died off. Unfortunately, with all that snow cover acting like a blanket, especially in the Northeast, you can almost certainly expect more ticks than usual this year.
For those who live in areas where ticks are prevalent during the summer season, there is a real concern that this season may be a bad one when it comes to these dangerous pests. Even though February was one of the coldest months on record – which could have led to a higher mortality rate for ticks – the large amount of snow that also occurred likely acted as a blanket to keep their populations warm.
If you enjoy keeping active outdoors by participating in activities like camping or taking hikes through the woods, then you should always take a few precautionary measures to prevent being bitten. Wearing tighter clothing and using repellents can help, and regular tick checks on yourself, your children and your pets are highly recommended. Last fall I was cutting wood in some tall grass and did not take the proper precautions. No surprise – the next day I found that I had a tick burrowed into my skin. I was not happy, to say the least. Upon discovery, I removed the tick promptly and properly and went to see my doctor, who prescribed an antibiotic just in case (to prevent Lyme disease and a long list of other illnesses that ticks can carry and pass along to humans).
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 27,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease and 9,000 probable cases in the U.S. in 2013. The greatest risk of infection was seen in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest states. The CDC recommends daily tick checks after being outdoors (even in your own yard), using repellents, showering soon after being outdoors, and calling a doctor if you get a fever or rash. To some of you it may come as a shock that you should check for ticks even after being in your own yard. The reality is that even in an urban environment there is a good chance that you may come in contact with ticks. Not only should you take precautions as mentioned earlier, but you should also consider hiring a company like Weed Man to perform regular applications of flea and tick control to your lawn and landscape. Contact your local Weed Man for a custom flea & tick control quote. As Benjamin Franklin so famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”