I have more than a couple of questions on my list of things to ask whatever god is in charge, should I ever meet them one day. One of the queries near the top, however, is wtf is up with ticks? I’m not even someone easily bothered by bugs and they totally squick me out.

What is the point? Why are they so gross? They give us diseases and bites that itch forever, and this year, experts are warning they’re going to be thicker than ever.

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Each year, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to CDC by state health departments and the District of Columbia. #lymedisease #ticks #tickseason #noticksplease

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There are two primary tick species in the United States, the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), which lives mostly in the Midwest and East Coast, and the Western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus), which resides mostly in the Western US.

Experts believe that the geographic distributions are expanding, which will put “an increasing number of Americans at risk for acquiring Lyme disease,” according to the CDC.

Ticks also carry a number of other diseases, like anaplasmosis and babesiosis.

Despite the growing number of people being infected with these diseases, researchers warn in the Journal of Medical Entomology that funding and surveillance procedures both remain inadequate.

Said lead author Emily Mader,

“Vector-borne diseases are only going to become an increasing threat in the world, [including] the United States and we really don’t know how to address that threat unless we study it.”

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Did you know that deer ticks must be attached for 36 to 48 hours before they transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease? ⠀ ⠀ Department of Defense personal and their dependents can send removed #ticks to the Military Tick Identification/Infection Confirmation Kit (MilTICK), for free tick testing and identification service. ⠀ ⠀ To learn more about this free service visit the U.S. Army Public Health Center webpage. ⠀ ⠀ #tickseason #LymeDisease #worldzoonosesday #zoonoses #ZoonoticDisease⠀

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Cornell University researchers surveyed over 140 public health professionals, all of whom study vector-borne diseases at control agencies, specifically looking at tick control practices, how data is communicated, and barriers they find in running programs.

They found that there was insufficient infrastructure and limited guidance, as well as a lack of funding.

Less than half of the people who responded were currently engaged in active tick surveillance, and nearly two-thirds were employing passive surveillance instead of active.

Mader and the others concluded that “the most prevalent barrier to developing and sustaining a tick surveillance program across time is just lack of funding.”

As with everything else, I suppose.

They also said that a lack of testing could lead to bad or no information finding its way to the public should threatening tick diseases pop up in their area.

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Each year as we all become more active in enjoying the outdoors, so do ticks like this black-legged (deer) tick. This is the very small and difficult to detect species most famously associated with Lyme disease and can require medical attention if found embedded on you or your pets. We share this to help make you aware to always enjoy the outdoors with the proper precautions (see below). Undesirable elements of nature should not be a deterrent from experiencing all it has to offer! Many ask us, "what good do ticks do?" and the answer is similar to that of many less popular species. Ticks are food for wildlife like birds, reptiles and amphibians (and even opossums!) but also can help balance larger species of predators and herbivores through disease transmission. Why are ticks and the diseases they carry more prevalent? Lyme typically starts with rodents that carry the bacteria and then is transmitted through the ticks to other species like deer and eventually to even humans as many of you have unfortunately experienced. Rodent and deer populations are out of balance, between being highly adapted to the human altered landscape and missing the much needed predator numbers to help keep them in check. We often advocate for unpopular species like snakes and coyotes that perform a valuable service in controlling rodents as do our birds of prey, which have declined but fortunately are bouncing back in some instances. To learn more about ways to protect yourself and your family from tick borne diseases, please visit this wonderful resource – https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/Pages/tickborne_dz.aspx #ticks #deertick #blackleggedtick #outdoors #besafe #lymedisease #wildlife #suskywildlife #susquehannock

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Basically, there are a lot of ticks out there – more than ever before – and the people who should be letting us know if there’s anything specific to worry about don’t have the money.

Wear your bug spray, douse your kids, and check everyone when they’re naked.

If your house is anything like mine, you’ll have plenty of opportunity (at least where your kids are concerned).