Posts Tagged ‘Ticks’

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Tick alert: Share your sightings

ticksThese days, everyone seems to have a tick story, and not all of them have happy endings.

In the Adirondack Explorer, reporter Cayte Bosler recently wrote about the rise of tick-borne diseases in the north. She writes: “The black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, also known as the deer tick, transmits up to seven different diseases, many of those on the rise, as the tiny arachnids creep farther into areas they previously were not.”

Many of you have shared your insights for preventing tick bites, and now we want to hear from you again: What are your experiences with illnesses transmitted by tick bites? Have you seen a spike of ticks in your area? If, so please share where you live/are seeing ticks. If we’re able to get a strong sense of where ticks are spreading, we plan to collect this information for future Explorer reporting and possibly mapping the data.

Share your experiences here or send an email to [email protected].

Photo: Professor Lee Ann Sporn collects ticks in 2020. Sporn has been conducting field studies on ticks in northern New York for eight years. Explorer file photo by Gwendolyn Craig

 


Friday, April 1, 2022

Get ticked off

deer tickThese days it’s no shock to learn that officials may not always give us the most up-to-date information on a fairly new disease which poses a grave threat to the public. The surprise is that it doesn’t involve COVID-19.

Since 2016, a nonstop avalanche of new findings on Lyme has crushed a lot of long-held beliefs about this disease. It is regularly misdiagnosed, harder to treat than one might assume, and can debilitate a person for months or years. In a few instances, its effects last a lifetime. Lyme is a huge – perhaps the biggest – health risk to farmers, forestry workers and others whose jobs are principally outdoors. In this first of a three-part series, I hope to correct some misunderstandings about Lyme disease, and explore why it’s so hard to diagnose.

» Continue Reading.


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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Ticks: They’re baaaaaaack

attached tick
It’s spring. And, after months of being locked down, people are getting outside again. Just a reminder, though. The longer, warmer days of April are also the start of tick season; the peak of which lasts through August.

    Ticks commonly overwinter by ‘nesting’ in groups; taking refuge under the soil, ground litter, and snow cover which acts as an insulating blanket, sheltering them from the frigid winter temperatures. When warmer weather arrives, they position themselves on vegetation and wait patiently, front legs outstretched, for any warm-blooded ‘host’ to pass by; a behavior known as ‘questing’. When one does, the tick latches on and soon begins taking its next blood meal.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 6, 2020

From the Archive: The scourge of ticks

tick next to dime‘Tis the season to hit the trails. At the same time, all outdoor enthusiasts hope to avoid the worst of all biting insects: The tick.

Here are a few selections from the Almanack archive that address these most-maligned insects:

From 2017: In a personal take on ticks, Tim Rowland writes: “I’d always viewed ticks as benign, but now I have to put them into that “one more thing to worry about” category, which is already quite an overcrowded field. After a recent hike in Essex County I picked two of the bastards off of me, and of course it happened in the middle of the night when everything seems more dramatic than it is. So where previously, I would never have given it a second thought, I instead lied awake for an hour wondering, ‘Am I doomed?'”

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Permethrin key to avoiding ticks

Deer TickAnyone paying attention to the rapid rise of tick-borne diseases has heard the advice on avoiding tick bites. The advice we are hearing is not wrong, just very incomplete.

Most information to the public suggests wearing light colored clothing, tucking your pants into your socks, and checking your body carefully after possible exposure. The intent is to keep ticks away from your skin, and to remove them promptly if they succeed in attaching. This was sufficient when Lyme disease was the only real worry, since research has shown the Lyme disease organism is not transmitted until the tick has been attached for hours.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 30, 2020

Ticks: Not a fan of social distancing

tick next to dimeGetting fresh air is more important than ever this coming summer during the public health crises, but it would be wise to remember that both ticks and people are going to be active and outside. Laura Harrington, a professor of entomology, vector biologist, and Director of the CDC Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases (NEVBD) has shared some tips on how to avoid ticks.

A bacterial infection that causes Lyme disease is the most important tick-borne human infection in the U.S., with around 200,000-300,000 reported cases per year. The blacklegged tick or ‘deer tick’ is the vector of Lyme disease in most of the U.S. It can also transmit other pathogens to people and pets, including the agents that cause babesiosis, anaplasmosis and Powassan disease. Blacklegged ticks are most common in forested areas and shaded trail edges with abundant leaf litter and shrubby plants, Harrington says.

Harrington recommends a few personal protection measures to keep ticks from biting, such as tick repellent, first and foremost. She also recommends light-colored clothing, and to tuck your pantlegs into your socks. It also wouldn’t hurt to treat your clothing with permethrin, or to purchase permethrin-treated clothing. Remember to check yourself for ticks often as well, both while hiking and after you get home! It only takes 24-48 hours after the tick attaches before it can begin to transmit Lyme disease. For other pathogens like the Powassan virus, transmission can happen quickly, so it is good to check as often as possible.

Check for ticks all over your body, including your back, neck, and hairline. If you happen to find a tick, carefully remove it with sharp tweezers by grasping as close to the point of attachment as possible and pulling. Once you are back inside, place your clothes in the dryer for at least 20 minutes, and take a shower (a good place to perform a tick check). You can also place your clothes in a sealed garbage bag to dry later.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Deer, Moose Feeding Regulations Adopted

whitetail deer provided by decNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner adoption of a regulation regarding feeding deer and moose.

DEC first prohibited deer feeding in 2002 in response to the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) because concentrating deer or moose at feeding sites increases the risk of disease transmission. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Tick Crisis in the Adirondacks Panel June 25th

tick crisis in the adksThe Whallonsburg Grange is set to present a panel discussion on the growing problem of ticks on Tuesday, June 25 at 7:30 pm. “A Ticking Time Bomb: The Tick Crisis in the Adirondacks” will include the latest scientific and medical information and time for participants to tell their own stories. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 5, 2019

A New Tick in Town

female longhorned tick Black flies bite, but ticks really suck. Enough complaining – that never helps.

After such a long winter, we are all grateful that spring has finally sprung, even though the price of warm weather seems to be the advent of biting insects. Swarms of mosquitoes can drain the fun from an evening on the deck, but a single black-legged or deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) can take the shine off an entire summer if it infects you with Lyme disease and/or another serious illness. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Tick-Borne Diseases Are On The Rise

tick life cycleEighteen years ago, when I moved back to New Hampshire, I rarely came across ticks. The dog didn’t carry them unwittingly into the house, and I could spend the day in the garden or on wooded trails and not see a single, hard-shelled, eight-legged, blood-sucking creepy-crawly.

Not so anymore. Now, from the time of snowmelt in the spring to the first crisp snowfall of autumn – and often beyond – we find ticks everywhere: on the dog, crawling up the front door, along kids’ hairlines, on backs or arms or legs, and occasionally (and alarmingly) walking along a couch cushion or bed pillow. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Viewpoint: Important Tick Research Needs Support

tick next to dimeI’d been living in the North Country for about a month when I woke up to discover a red bulls eye on my left arm. Since, mentally and emotionally, I have never advanced much past the fourth grade, my first thought was: “Cool!”

Because it was clearly visible, however, a number of people subsequently pointed out that this, technically, was nothing to celebrate. So I walked around for the next three days looking like the dog from the Target ads, while people dutifully commented on my impending doom.

Nothing ever came of it. So far the only discomfort ticks have caused me is embarrassment, owing to an appointment with a massage therapist that went horribly wrong. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Invasives: A New Tick Species Is Spreading

longhorned tick courtesy wikimedia user CommonsourceYears ago I read an author interview, and although I don’t recall her name, one of the images she raised has stayed with me. It’s not an exact quote, but she said something to the effect that writing ought to feel to an author as if they were water skiing behind their work, not towing it like a barge. In general, I find this to be the case. The hours or days of research which go into an article are hardly exhilarating, but the wave-jumping that comes after shrinking those pages of facts into 800 words makes it worth the effort.

However, when I tried to water-ski behind a brand-new invasive tick that can reproduce without mating, drain the blood out of livestock, and potentially carry ten or more human diseases, including one similar to Ebola, something changed. A few topics whip across the water at high speed. Most at least pull me at a leisurely pace. This one made me drop the whole water skiing idea and swim for my life. Turns out there is a limit to how many miles you can get out of happy imagery. And to how long a writer should be allowed to spend alone in a room with the same metaphor. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dry Weather May Mean Less Lyme Disease

tick life cycle Over the past few decades, black-legged tick populations have grown relentlessly. These are the ticks that carry Lyme disease, and so what was once a novelty illness has become a rite of passage for many. It’s probably safe to say that by now everyone reading this knows someone who’s had the disease, if they haven’t had it themselves.

But some years are worse than others when it comes to Lyme disease infection rates, so the obvious question is: what causes this? Part of the answer involves the number of deer and small mammals around. There’s been elegant science done that establishes a neat connection between Lyme disease rates and good acorn years. The oaks produce a good crop, which causes a spike in the mouse and chipmunk populations the next year, and then a surge in human Lyme disease cases a year after that. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 18, 2018

It’s Tick Season: Tips To Avoid Getting Bit

tick next to dimeWith the warm weather here and more opportunities to spend time outdoors, it’s important to remember these tips to prevent ticks from affecting your summer. Be sure to protect yourself, pets and your property from ticks.

The most effective way to avoid ticks when outdoors is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation. However, if you hike, camp, hunt, work or otherwise spend time in the outdoors, you can still protect yourself. » Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Will Our Extreme Winter Cold Wipe Out Ticks?

Deer TickI’ve been asked on four different occasions, recently, how tick populations will be impacted by the December/January below-zero cold. Some of those asking had heard reports, apparently claiming that tick populations would be decimated, if not eradicated, by the prolonged period of extremely cold weather.

We’d all certainly welcome that. It’s probable that you or someone you know has been affected by ticks and/or by Lyme disease. And any downward pressure on tick populations is welcome. But, the answer isn’t that simple. » Continue Reading.



Kid next to water

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