A worsening tick problem on the way

FILE - This is a March 2002 file photo of a deer tick under a microscope in the entomology lab at the University of Rhode Island in South Kingstown, R.I. Researchers focused on ticks and the debilitating diseases they spread say the heavy snow that blanketed the Northeast this winter was like a cozy quilt for baby blacklegged ticks that are now questing for blood as the weather warms up. (AP Photo/Victoria Arocho, File)

(WTNH) — Nobody loves spring more than me…flowers budding, leaves growing on the trees, and of course warmer temperatures. After a handful of cold days this March, I’m sure spring is on your mind. The problem is, this winter has been one of the warmest on record and with a warmer than average winter comes a worse than average tick season.

Anytime you have a tick that needs to be tested, it gets sent to the tick testing facility at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Run by Dr. Molaei, the team tests ticks for Lyme and other diseases and the results this winter has been staggering!

“Just yesterday we received greater than sixty ticks and we tested these ticks and nearly 50 percent of these ticks were infected by Lyme Disease agents. And that spells trouble for the upcoming season,” said Dr. Goudarz Molaei.

To put that into perspective, in past winters the tick testing lab typically saw only one or two ticks each day, resulting in only 30 percent testing positive for Lyme Disease. And that spells trouble for the upcoming season.

Unfortunately, each year the cases of Lyme Disease across the country get worse and worse. This is in part due to milder winters, increasing housing development near the woods, and even a greater population of mice that carry Lyme Disease.

“And unfortunately a greater number of humans might become ill with Lyme Disease and other tick born diseases, mentioned Molaei.

So what should you do? Well if you live near the woods, spray your property with an organic spray and clear out any shrubs that may help harbor mice that can carry ticks with Lyme Disease. Also push back any leaves from last fall into the woods, and most importantly wear light colored clothing and inspect yourself before heading inside your house this Spring.

During the interview with Dr. Molaei, he spoke about just how bad the winter has been for ticks, and gave his prediction for the upcoming tick season. To watch the full interview, check out the video below:

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