To the Editor:
At the moment, everyone’s attention is correctly and understandably focused on the coronavirus. Nonetheless, I want to remind you that the threat of tick-borne illnesses remains as real and as serious as ever. This week I have had two calls from people who were bitten by deer ticks, and also removed a tick from my wife’s back. As the weather continues to warm, we will be experiencing more and more adult deer ticks. Within a month I expect the first lone star nymphs to be emerging, and by the beginning of May, deer tick nymphs will likely be out as well.
It is important to take appropriate precautions when outside in tick habitat, and start doing regular tick checks. This is also a good time to remove accumulations of dead leaves and pine needles, which will soon be providing habitat for the emerging nymphs.
Please be smart, stay safe, and take care of your friends and neighbors.
Richard W. Johnson
MV Tick Program