Apr 24

Why is the Tick Population Surging in NY and CT

Aware of Upcoming Tick Season in Connecticut and New York

The spring season is shaping up nicely for the Northeastern region. With every positive, however, comes a negative and this year’s abundant supply of forest acorns can be seen as a downside. According to Felicia Keesing, a researcher at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, increased acorns lead to a larger population of mice.  Mice are a huge transmitter of Lyme disease.

Nature Creates the Rules

Every 2 to 5 years, acorns are generated in higher levels in Northeastern states, including Connecticut and New York. Overall, 14 states in this part of the country accounted for 95% of confirmed Lyme-like disease cases in 2015. This makes 2017 a prime candidate for a repeat appearance of ticks that carry the disease. Some attribute this fact to global warming while others point to the rules of nature.

Why Mice Make Good Targets

Mice provide a convenient home for ticks. As mice scurry through the woods, it is not difficult for these arachnids, not insects to hop on and attach themselves to this convenient blood source. Once the arachnids have settled into their new home, they drink infected blood which contains a bacteria called borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria evolves into Lyme Disease.  

Types of Ticks in Connecticut and New York

Although there are hundreds of species of arachnids, only 3 are prevalent in passing along disease to humans. Understanding these types and who they use as carriers is important information to have. As the population of ticks are on the rise, the risk of lyme and other diseases will increase.  Learn about these diseases and what type of ticks you will see this season in New York and Connecticut.

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Multiple Diseases with Serious Complications

Most people do not realize that Lyme related Diseases are not the only type of diseases that are being discovered. Even though the most common, others are becoming known. Babesiosis and anaplasmosis are examples of tick-related diseases that cause fever, muscle aches and fatigue as symptoms. If not diagnosed and treated promptly, Lyme-type disease could cause serious complications of the joints, nervous system and heart.

Educational Programs

Tick-associated diseases are serious business. One organization, Global Lyme Alliance private nonprofit organization that is active in educating the public on the dangers of tick-related diseases. To learn more about this free educational program, visit GLA.org/symposium. Being vigilant in keeping up with the latest discoveries on tick-related news in your area can help you to know what to look for. According to Rick Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, 2017 is on track for being the worst season yet for Lyme-related illness.

“We want to get the word out so people can take precautions. Our dream is that we don’t see this translate to human cases,” says Felicia Keesing, a biologist at Bard College in NY.

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