HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Tick season starts in mid-April, and experts predict this year will be one of the worst seasons yet.
While we have had close to average temperatures, there has been more rain and moisture both in the air and in the ground. This can cause an increase in ticks this year as the season spans from April to late October.
There are multiple types of ticks in Pennsylvania: the deer tick, brown dog, American dog and Lonestar ticks that reside in wooded areas. However, the deer tick is the most deadly one for our area, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), there were 9,009 confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease in Pennsylvania. Lyme disease can lead to severe symptoms that affect the heart, nervous system and joints over time if it is not treated.
Kevin Walter of Lawn Doctor and Yard Armour said the ticks seem to be getting worse consistently. He said he and his team have already seen an increase in ticks this year before the start of the season.
“They feed on blood, so they’re looking for a food source,” Walter said.
REDUCE YOUR CHANCES OF TICK BITES
The following tips have been provided by the DOH:
- Walk in the center of trails and avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter
- Use a repellent that contains at least 20% DEET
- Wear light-colored clothing
- Conduct full-body tick checks on yourself and on your pets after spending time outdoors
- Take a bath or shower within 2 hours after coming indoors
SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE
- A red, swollen bulls-eye shape rash
- Muscle and joint aches
- Swollen lymph nodes