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Why do experts predict high tick activity in 2021?

  • Experts predict that summer 2021 will be a “tick time bomb”.
  • due to the mild winter Most parts of the country are therefore seeing more ticks this season than last year. due to small insects Will grow well in humidity.
  • Here are some ways to protect yourself from tick bites. This can lead to a variety of ailments, including Lyme disease.

    Every summer we hear the same warning: This is going to be a bad year for ticks. but entomologists (or insect experts) say 2021 can live up to that message. In fact, The Weather Channel calls this year a “Tick time bomb”


    Robert Lockwood, an assistant certified entomologist for Ehrlich Pest Control, said experts have observed booming tick populations in 2021 “due to mild winters and climate change. So we are seeing more ticks this season than last year,” he said.

    Why are wet winters important? Ticks thrive in humidity, says Ben Hottel, Ph.D., manager of technical services at Orkin, “Regions that experience warmer, humid winters have more tick numbers in the spring and summer. this

    a hotter and more humid environment “The arthropod life cycle is complete faster,” explains Anna Berry, board-certified entomologist and Terminix technical manager. It develops from one stage to another.” Wet winters and springs. with warm temperatures “Provides the warmth and humidity needed for rapid development,” she said.

    Ticks also need hosts such as deer, mice and birds to survive. And those hosts tend to thrive in warm, wet climates, Berry said.

    The problem is that these tiny pests are not dormant. But they are biting people,” says Jean I. Tsao, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Departments of Fisheries & Wildlife and Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University. She cites data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tick ​​bites were more likely than last year’s this week.

    “Although this is not the case for the entire United States, But this is the case for the South Central Region. Northeast and Midwest,” Tsao said. American dog ticks are very active right now. and in the Northeast and Midwest. The black-legged tick is active, too.” The two species carried the disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, respectively.

    What do ticks look like again?

    Most adult ticks are about the size of an apple seed or a pencil eraser. But they may be as small as a poppy seed. they have no wings And it’s flat and oval until it’s covered in blood, Berry said. The color varies depending on the type of tick. It may look white-gray, brown, black, red-brown or yellow.

    How to protect yourself from ticks

    To prevent bites, the CDC recommends applying a tick repellent containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin. and avoid wooded areas and bushes with tall grass and foliage. You can also take care of your clothing and equipment with products containing 0.5% permethrin, an effective insecticide.

    if you go hiking Instead, walk towards the center of the path instead of near the bushes. which tends to be hanging by the tick When you come in after a long day out Try to shower within two hours to make sure the lingering animal is washed away. You will need to examine the whole tick closely with a mirror. (Or have someone you trust check on you.)

    You can throw your clothes directly into the washing machine. But you’ll want to do so with high heat, the CDC says. Toss it in the dryer and turn it on for 10 minutes to make sure the ticks are killed.

    You can protect your property from ticks by landscaping, Hottel says. Build a barrier between overgrown bushes and your property. And reducing leaf litter will reduce the presence of all types of ticks,” he says. (See our in-depth guide on how to keep ticks away from your home.)

    What to do if you see a tick on the body

    If you find a tick on your body, the CDC recommends removing it as soon as possible. Here’s how:

    • Use sharp tweezers to hold the tick as close to your skin as possible.
    • It pulls up with consistent, consistent pressure. (Do not twist or jerk the tick. This may cause the mouth to crack and remain in the skin.)
    • Clean the bite area and hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
    • Get rid of ticks by flushing them down the toilet or putting them in alcohol. Place it in a sealed bag or container. Then wrap tightly with masking tape. (Many people like to keep ticks. in case there are strange symptoms and need insects to test)

      It is unclear what will happen to the tick population for the rest of the summer, Tsao said, as parts of the country are beginning to lack moisture. “If the drought continues Our ticks tend to subside,” she said.

      Ticks can return water if the air under the leaf litter is damp. But if the humidity drops below 82-25% for an extended period of time The tick will begin to die. “The greater the frequency of these drying periods,” Tsao said, “the higher the tick mortality rate.”

      until then Stay safe during those outdoor adventures!

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