Everyone in my family, including pets living and deceased, has gotten Lyme Disease at least once except for the five-year old boy. And it’s only a matter of time with him. This is true especially this year. I have never seen a tick season like we’re having- not even close. Virtually every time I step outside, I find a tick crawling on me. So far, most of been of the less worrisome dog tick variety. But last week we started finding the Lyme-carrying deer ticks, too. Ordinarily, I only get ticks when I venture into tall grass or occasionally they come inside on a dog and wind up on a person. But I can’t sit on my patio without them crawling on me.
So, I got curious. What explains this explosion in the tick population.
As best as I can surmise, the answer is counterintuitive. Cold weather kills ticks and we had a very cold winter. But it’s nice and toasty under the snow where the warmth from the Earth gets trapped. Therefore, if it’s super cold, the ticks will die off. But if it’s super cold and there’s snow on the ground that doesn’t melt for weeks at a time, then the ticks don’t die off and there is a population boom in the Spring.
Apparently, this is what has happened. And now I have the heebie jeebies. I think every little itch is a tick, which seems to be true about half the time.
A few years ago, we were overrun with stink bugs from China. They’re still with us, but not at the ridiculous levels that they were. A while before that, we had the introduction of the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus.
What’s next, earthquakes and volcanos?
Come to think of it, we had an earthquake a couple of years ago. The epicenter was down in Virginia and I wouldn’t be surprised if fracking caused it.
It used to be, the only thing to worry about in the Mid-Atlantic was the occasional flooding from the remnants of a tropical storm and, very rarely, a tornado.
In any case, I’m glad that Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is trying to get some funding to research Lyme Disease.
We’re sick of that particular malady.