New England is experiencing a large rise in its amount of ticks, as compared to recent years.
“Much of the region got a respite last year as the drought took a toll on ticks, whose numbers drop as the humidity falls below 85 percent. But the drought is largely gone from the region and ticks are taking advantage.”
Residents in Maine have claimed they are finding as many as 30 ticks at a time on their clothes, and public health officials in Vermont are reporting an “above-average rate” of emergency room visits for tick bites in the last three weeks.
Alan Eaton, a tick expert with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, said the high numbers he has seen in New Hampshire are in line with what was expected, considering the high moisture levels and short dry periods.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Lyme disease cases has tripled to about 30,000 cases nationwide annually, and Vermont had the highest rate of reported Lyme disease cases nationwide in 2015.
Catherine Brown, deputy state epidemiologist for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said when asked about this issue, “No matter what happens, there are a lot of ticks in New England. If there is a few fewer this year or more next year, then from a public health standpoint it doesn’t change the fact that there are a lot of ticks and great potential for exposure to the diseases they carry.”
An EPA registered Insect Repellent is highly recommended to avoid bites from ticks and other various disease carrying insects.