Ticks are one of the most feared insects of the summer months, because they can transmit Lyme disease. But are they really a problem here in Vermont? We asked State Entomologist Jon Turmel for this evenings edition of "What's Bugging you"!
"Jon, this time of year, so many of us like to go out for walks, walks through the fields, walks with our dogs and so forth. The big question is, what about ticks? Some people think that their aren't any ticks, and other people tell you they are all over the place."
"Yes, Sharon. Ticks are here, and again, it depends on what area you're in. Some places have a lot of ticks, others have few ticks. The important thing is, to check yourself before you go out, check yourself when you come back, to avoid having any transmission of any type of disease that you get with ticks."
"The recommendation is to check once a day. Why is that?"
"Because it takes the deer tick at least 24 hours to transmit Lyme disease. So if you get that tick off of you immediately, then you don't have to worry about Lyme disease."
"Now I noticed you said deer tick, and that's another important thing to point out. Not all ticks transmit Lyme disease."
"That's right. The deer tick, or the back legged tick is the one that transmits the Lyme disease in this area. Other ticks we don't have to worry about as far as spreading Lyme disease."
"Ticks tend to like some sort of habitats better than others don't they?"
"Yes, they like areas with tall grass, so they can climb up on it. Scrubby areas, areas where there are a lot of animals that walk through, deer paths, bike paths, things like that. Those are the areas you really need to watch out for. Areas that are mowed, you really don't have to worry as much about it."
As for your pets, you should talk with your veterinarian about which treatments work on ticks and which do not. And some tick treatments require careful handling.
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