By Erin Frick, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Warmer months are drawing to a close, but it’s not time to let down our guard against ticks.
Climate change is making many regions around the world warmer and wetter. In the northeastern United States, tick habitat is expanding as temperatures rise. Ticks are moving to new places, and they are bringing new diseases with them. The threat of getting sick from one or multiple tick-borne diseases is increasing as a result.
Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY, is a leading expert on the ecology of ticks and the diseases they carry. Ostfeld explains, “Our records from 25 years of data from Dutchess County, NY, show that ticks are emerging earlier each year. With autumn temperatures on the rise, the season of high tick risk is expanding on both ends. This means we should be on the lookout for ticks earlier and later in the year.”
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