Summer has arrived and so have the ticks!
Based on reports from researchers across the state, tick season in Ohio is expected to be pretty bad this year. This can be attributed to the extended cool winter and spring.
Recently in a College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences news release, Glen Needham, a retired entomologist and tick expert formerly with Ohio State University Extension, stated, “With the extended winter cold we’ve experienced this year and the slower to develop spring weather, you can expect to see a lot of ticks starting to come out all at once. Think of it as kind of a tick logjam.”
Needham further explained, “Although we’ve experienced a longer than normal winter, we really didn’t have a polar vortex come through and kill back the ticks, which typically are pretty cold hardy.”
For example, soil temperatures have to reach zero to minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit to freeze dog ticks, he said.
“So really, all the extended cold weather did was just delay tick emergence,” Needham continued. “With these 70- and 80-degree days we’re now experiencing, ticks are going to be active and very hungry.”
With the rising tick population comes the risk of contracting tickborne illnesses such as Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis and Lyme disease. Lyme disease is the major threat associated with deer tick bites. Most Lyme disease cases occur during the summer when the poppy seed-sized nymphs are most active.
To prevent tick diseases, be sure you can identify the offenders. Stop by the OSU Extension Greene County office today and pick-up your Tick ID card. Learn more at www.greene.osu.edu.
Trevor Corboy is a guest columnist and Natural Resources Educator from the Ohio State University Extension of Greene County. Contact him at 937-372-9971 or firstname.lastname@example.org.