Tick season is here. And those creepy crawlies are out in full force. They aren’t just a nuisance; some can carry serious disease.
The Metz boys, ages 7 and 9, spend most of the summer outside in their Ossining yard. Their mom keeps an eye out for ticks.
“Thankfully, we have not had any Lyme issues, but we use spray, and we check pretty regularly every night, and they are really good about checking themselves,” KC Metz said.
It’s the height of the tick season in the Northeast. And according to the CDC, the region has the most tick bites in the United States. Multiple species populate New York.
Nicole Foley, a master’s degree candidate at Cornell University, is studying them through her ‘Tick Blitz’ project.
“We were looking for the northward expansion of two kind of new tick species, Lone Star ticks and the Asian Longhorn tick,” Foley said.
Dozens of volunteers hunted for ticks across New York last week. The ‘Tick Blitz’ stopped in communities across Westchester, Rockland, and Suffolk counties. Ticks were even collected in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
“At one site I went to, I collected 800 ticks, just myself. So, we’re definitely into the thousands in terms how many ticks we collected,” Foley said.
The ticks will be identified, studied and some will be checked for disease. An above average tick season has been predicted.
Experts have recommended that long pants and high socks with a repellent can help prevent tick bites.
Foley said if you find a tick on yourself, your child or pet, there is a certain way to remove it.
“For tick removal, you use fine tipped tweezers. And then you get as close to the skin as possible, and you gently pull upwards,” she said.
Deer ticks are the ones that can transmit Lyme Disease. So, it’s recommended to watch for a bullseye rash or flu-like symptoms.