WASHINGTON — The cicadas may be wrapping up for the season but there is another insect coming out in full force.
The tick population is higher this year than it has been in the past, according to Samuel Ramsey with the United States Department of Agriculture.
Experts believe the huge spike is in part because of the warmer winters and rising summer temperatures that have allowed the tick population to live longer and not die off during the winter months.
"It just seems like the population has exploded. Sometimes that is a result of a warmer winter, when there is a really cold winter there is a tendency for the population of the ticks to not do as well. Because fewer of them make it through the winter process, you see fewer of them in the spring and in the summer, it takes a while for their population to build back up again," said Ramsey.
Researchers said this is especially concerning because many ticks carry Lyme disease. Nearly one in every four deer ticks carry the parasite.
If you find a tick on your body, it is important to catch it early because it takes about 36-48 hours to transmit Lyme disease.
"This disease is spread very quickly and very easily and can also be hard to detect. A lot of people expect to see a bulls-eye rash that just appears on their body but that does not appear in all cases," said Ramsey.
Ramsey suggests trying to avoid high grass, especially if it is in an area with a high mouse or deer population. It is also a good idea to do frequent tick checks and if you find a tick, bring it into the hospital.
Not all ticks transmit Lyme disease so taking it to an expert will help determine if it could carry Lyme disease.
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