Tick populations expected to be high this year, how to protect yourself


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As warmer weather approaches this weekend people should be aware that ticks will be out too, and populations in our area are expected to be extremely high.

“It’s a neurological disease, cardiac malformations, and cardiac problems,” Dr. Ronald Stram, of the Stram Center in Delmar, said.

Dr. Stram is referring to Lyme disease.

According to the CDC, in 2015, Lyme disease was the 6th most common nationally notifiable disease and Dr. Stram says Lyme disease is the second highest infectious disease in the country.

That’s why Dr. Stram wants people to be informed as warm weather approaches and the tick population hatches.

“I would wear something like this because it’s light clothing. You can see any dark spots on it.”

Dr. Stram says most people don’t know they’ve been bitten by a tick so prevention can be hard, but killing ticks is a good solution.

“Because of the low-temperature weather, field mice have really exploded in their population and they’re one of the really highest carriers or reservoirs for ticks.”

That’s why Joe Koval with Mosquito Squad uses a tick tube filled with cotton and placed where mice live.

“They take cotton which is inside of the tick tube and they nest with it. On that cotton is a permethrin that kills the ticks on the mice,” Koval said. “Doesn’t hurt the mice or the chipmunks.”

Another good tip, they also say that you should be removing any leaves or any brush or any piles like that that might be around your house because those can also have ticks and mice that carry ticks.”

Koval also sprays for ticks. Usually, your yard would need to be sprayed four times a year.

Koval says it works and he has a vested interest, he doesn’t want to see anyone suffer from Lyme disease or any other tick-borne illnesses.

“It really hurts a lot of people. I think everybody’s been touched. I have a niece that has chronic Lyme Disease,” Koval said. “It’s really devastated her, took her an extra year to get through college it was so devastating.”

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