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Despite Winter Months, Ticks Rampant in NYC

Update Date: May 07, 2014 07:53 PM EDT

Ticks are taking over New York. New research reveals that ticks have survived the harsh winter, and managed to settle comfortably in New York.
"Despite the long, cold winter, ticks are abundant in New York State and surrounding areas. The persistent snow cover helped insulate overwintering ticks in the leaf litter," researcher Paul Curtis, coordinator of Cornell University's Wildlife Damage Management Program and associate professor of Natural Resources, said in a news release.
"Black-legged ticks -- also known as deer ticks -- do not like dry, open areas and are not common in tall grass. Instead, they are found primarily in shaded sites such as woods or woodland edges, or in shaded home landscapes," he said.
"Tick densities are correlated with deer abundance, and high local deer populations have contributed to a rise in reported Lyme disease cases in people and pets. People who are outdoors in tick-infested areas should check themselves closely for ticks at the end of each day. Consult your physician if you are bitten and concerned about potential disease transmission," Curtis added.
"It is very important to remove ticks as soon possible, because they must be attached for approximately 24 to 36 hours to transfer pathogens to humans or pets while feeding. Pet owners should consult their veterinarian, as Lyme disease can cause severe problems for dogs," he warned.
"Deer fencing is expensive, but it may be practical for some high-risk areas such as parks and playgrounds frequented by children and pets. The 4-Poster device, a type of deer bait station that controls ticks as they feed, does dramatically reduce tick populations over a two to three year period. However in New York, this device is currently only registered for use on Long Island," Curtis added.
Curtis offers some tick prevention tips below:
• Wear light-colored clothing
• Wear long pants and sleeves
• Tuck pants into your socks, and shirt into your pants
• Use insect repellents
• Walk near the center to avoid touching shrubs or brush
• Check clothing and body frequently to identify signs of ticks.
• Dry clothing on the highest temperature for at least ten minutes
• Mow lawns and remove trash and litter
• Prevent rodents like rats and mice
• Move equipment or law furniture away from wooded areas

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