Don't Panic, Ticks are Out!

Don't panic, but it's already warm enough for ticks!

I say this, because I did, a little, after reading this article about an overabundance following the harsh winter we had. While I tend to be a worrier, this fear is supported by the fact that one of my daughters got bit by a tick last summer.  But, rather than freak out, I got in touch with Dr. Kirby Stafford III, the Chief Entomologist at the Department of Entomology at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Dr. Stafford tells me, "the ticks were not early this year... adult blacklegged ticks came out as soon as conditions permitted" which he explains happens when the snow melts and temperatures reach the 40's.  While he says "it is possible that with the protective, moderating snow cover and moisture there may be a greater overwintering survival of nymphal ticks... I suspect the risk for Lyme disease will be pretty much the same overall as last year, maybe a little higher."

We can't put our kids in a bubble or avoid going outside (why would we especially after this winter!)  but there are measures we can take to reduce our risk of a tick bite or disease.  Dr. Stafford suggests "wearing long pants, tuck in socks, use skin or clothing repellent and check for ticks after being outdoors."

For much more information about ticks in Connecticut, check out Dr. Stafford's Tick Management Handbook.  Here is a link, just click on Tick Management Handbook on the left hand side.



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