While the heavy snow extended Vermont’s ski season, it also acted as a cozy quilt for ticks. As the weather has warmed, they are out looking for a feast. Dog owners are already finding ticks on their pets.
Vermont is known to have 13 different tick species, with four known to carry pathogens that cause disease in humans:
• Deer Tick: Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis
• American Dog Tick: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia
• Lone Star Tick: Ehrilichiosis
• Woodchuck Tick: Powassan
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the incidence of Lyme Disease continues to rise in Vermont, with the current incidence rate being 107.6 per 100,000 population.
Tick borne illnesses are most frequently transmitted between early spring and late fall. Preferring wooded and bushy areas with high grass and a lot of leaf litter, you can decrease your risk of infection by:
• wearing a repellent containing 30% DEET
• checking your body daily for ticks and
• actively limiting exposure to ticks and tick habitats.
If you do enter a tick area, walk in the center of the trail. Cover up. Wear long pants, long sleeves and long socks. Light colored clothing will help you spot ticks more easily. Tucking pant legs into socks or boots and tucking shirts into pants help keep ticks on the outside of clothing.
Learn more by going to Be Tick Smart.