Warmer Winters Means Ticks Are Thriving

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With warmer weather on the way this week you might be looking to spend more time outside. But you still need to keep ticks top of mind, even in the winter months.

"I have found plenty of ticks on her." Susan Berman of Bloomfield protects her furry friend all year long.

"When it's gotten cold but warm like some warm days that we've had during the winter I've found ticks on her," said Berman.

Our warming Connecticut winters means ticks can survive year round.

"There's a really good correlation with our increase in temperatures in the winter months and the increase in survival," explained Kirby Stafford, chief scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and state entomologist.

With ticks in their adult stage during the winter months, there’s a roughly 50/50 chance any tick that bites you can transmit Lyme Disease. The good news is it takes at least 24, but closer to 36 hours for a tick to infect humans and pets. So as soon as you get done spending time outdoors it’s important to do a tick check.

Using a lint roller is an easy way to catch ticks that may be clinging to your clothing. And if you do find a tick on you or your furry friends, use tweezers to remove it.

In addition to native ticks surviving the winter months, we’re also seeing new species moving into Connecticut as a result of climate change.

“Southern species that have been steadily moving northward both into the Midwest and here in the northeast,” said Stafford.

New ticks mean new diseases and even more reason to be careful.

And if you do find a tick on either you or your pet, once it’s removed you can submit it to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for testing. For more information click here.

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