Tick-Borne Illnesses
3:15 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Damp Weather May Encourage Tick Populations

If you’ve walked in the woods or in long grass lately…you may have noticed more ticks than usual.  

Deer ticks, known for carrying Lyme disease, could be more plentiful this summer.
Credit NOAA

Entomologists report the recent warm and damp weather could cause an upsurge in tick populations in Wisconsin.  Rob Deede from the Oneida County Health Department says the best way to prevent tick-borne illnesses is to keep the ticks off in the first place.

“Making sure that if someone is going to be working in an area where they might be exposed to ticks to have bug repellent with that 20 percent DEET as recommended by the CDC, and getting the tick off of them if they have been bitten.” 

The Northwoods is known as an endemic area for several kinds of ticks…meaning the arachnids do well here, so there are a lot of them.  But Deede says so far reports of tick-related diseases have held steady.

“We thus far haven’t seen an increase, it’s kind of been the same amount of cases coming in as any other year for us so far.  Though we are aware that this year could be a heavier year.”

Deede says though tiny deer ticks are best known for carrying Lyme disease…other ticks can also carry illnesses.  Symptoms can appear soon after being bitten, or be delayed by as long as 6 months.