"The little buggers are stealthy, feed on blood, and can transmit a variety of dangerous bacteria... for example, Lyme disease, for which ticks are the only known transmitter, is the most notorious. Lyme affects 300,000 Americans every year — 10 times higher than previous estimates."
other tick-borne diseases are there? More, it seems, every year. Among
them are the Heartland virus, which can trigger fever and liver
abnormalities; babesiosis, which mimics the symptoms of malaria and has
increased 20-fold in the lower Hudson River Valley since 2001; and
perhaps worst of all, Powassan disease, which kills about 10 percent of
its victims and leaves 50 percent of its survivors with lasting
"Currently, there is no vaccine for Lyme disease or other tick-borne
illnesses, which is why health experts say that prevention is critical."
ticks live for an average of two years and have three main life stages:
larval, nymphal, and adult. During the winter, ticks usually become
dormant. But warmer winters have seen ticks breeding throughout the
year, increasing the populations of larvae and nymphs in the spring.
Warmer and moister air may also extend the life cycle of ticks, so that
nymphs — the stage most likely to transmit infections — continue to be
active all summer. Lyme disease rates have shot up accordingly. Research
shows that warmer temperatures may also be expanding tick habitats, and
extending their life cycle to three years."
disease is a bacterial infection that can affect humans, dogs, cats and
other mammals. Its primary carrier is the deer tick (Ixodes
scapularis), which often
feeds on rodents in its early
stages. Later, the tick can attach to a dog or human and transmit the
bacteria that cause Lyme disease."
behooves all of us to keep the tall grass and brush at bay. And keeping
rodents and deer to a minimum is essential / which means not putting
feed out for birds that attract them. Keeping your dogs and cats treated
against fleas and ticks is a must.