NORWALK, Conn. -- Spring has barely sprung, and it’s already shaping up to be a particularly rough year for Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
That’s according to staff at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, who said an unusually high number of ticks were submitted for testing this month.
The higher tick abundance appears to be related to lower winter temperatures in the state over the last two years, officials at the state's tick-testing lab said this week. (See earlier Daily Voice story HERE .)
According to Station Director Theodore Andreadis, a total of 231 ticks have been submitted for testing in March and so far and 37 percent tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
According to the Mosquito Squad , a mosquito and tick control company based in Norwalk, there are things you can do to control the tick population and protect your family.
- Clear Out: Reduce tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic. Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don’t position playground equipment, decks and patios near wooded areas.
- Clean: Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house & lawn edges, mow tall grasses & keep your lawn short.
- Choose Plants: Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard. Check with your local nursery to determine the best choices for your area.
- Check Hiding Places: Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls and patio retaining wall are popular hiding places.
- Take Care of Family Pets: Family pets can suffer from tick-borne disease and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your veterinarian about using tick collars and sprays. As with all pest control products, be sure to follow directions carefully.