Dec 12, 2018 at 12:33 am #3568569
Clusters of 2 to 10 per blade of grass. I picked 86 of them off Libby’s dog this afternoon after a walk. I found several on me but none in me.
Be careful out there!Dec 12, 2018 at 12:34 am #3568570
Not just in “cantral” California. Also in “central” California 🙄Dec 12, 2018 at 2:13 am #3568589Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
So maybe not Ventana? I had zero ticks last year. Guess I have a chance😧Dec 12, 2018 at 5:45 am #3568597Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
I saw a presentation by a university researcher earlier this year who has spent his entire career tracking tick migration and tick disease prevalence, correlated with average ground surface temperatures (measured, and modeled) over the past several decades. It was actually quite spooky. He suggested that at some temperature, there is a tipping point where a 1- or 2-degree (C) increase would result in a 10-fold increase in the tick population. Seems that insects and arachnids are very sensitive to temperature and climate changes, whether short or long term and regardless of the cause.
2 to 10 ticks on a blade of grass – 86 on a dog? That’s insane! And super gross. I’m not a tick fan, I contracted Colorado tick fever in Montana 15 years ago and it created several years of health problems for me. It was awful.Dec 13, 2018 at 5:20 am #3568764Christopher *BPL Member
@cfrey-0Locale: US East Coast
I recently read a study here in PA that was evaluating the full and sometimes hidden ecosystem factors in an attempt to determine/predict tick prevalence for an upcoming season. For example, mice are apparently one of the primary hosts of the deer tick nymph. A recent decline in fox populations (due to illness) has led to a boom in rodents and a corresponding explosion of ticks in the affected area.Dec 14, 2018 at 10:36 pm #3568992MWBPL Member
Maybe time for some baiting?
Tubes of commercially available permethrin-treated cotton balls were distributed twice each year in 1989 and 1990 at five sites in a Lyme disease endemic area in Connecticut. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1941927Dec 14, 2018 at 10:52 pm #3568996David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Spruce bark beetles used to move through our area every 150-180 years when the density of mature spruce trees was high enough to support an epidemic of them. When we got here in 1998, there was widespread spruce die-off only 80 years after the last event because warmer temps stress trees (they need moisture to make sap which is part of their defense) and a longer summer allowed for two generations of beetles instead of only one – that really changes the math.
Now we’re having another event, just 20 years later, and the smaller trees left behind are getting hammered. It’s warmed up noticeably in the last 20 years, especially winters – 1998 was that last time we saw any -40 and we haven’t seen -20F in several years now.
So, yes, a few degrees average temperature rise can create a huge tipping point for insects.Dec 15, 2018 at 1:21 am #3569020
It is both gross and scary. We have been bitten so much these last 10 or so years that we have developed an allergy to their saliva; in less than an hour we swell up and feel bruised. The first one of the season takes the longest to cause a reaction and by the third or fourth we are talking minutes. The dogs get their tick and flea medication but that does not deter the ticks from hitching a ride or worse.
I believe that ticks will be what changes our outdoor activities more than anything else. I worry that we have just begun to find out what diseases they carry :(Dec 15, 2018 at 1:32 am #3569023Christopher *BPL Member
@cfrey-0Locale: US East Coast
I think I’ve read the allergic reaction can be a good thing. Obviously it alerts you to the bite site but presumably it can also effect the tick … sometimes physically thwarting the bite and in some cases actually killing the offending bugger.Dec 15, 2018 at 1:30 pm #3569052Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
Here in the Michigan, our backpacking / outdoors club used to lead weekend trips into a place in the central lower peninsula called the Hoist Lakes Foot Travel Area on national forest land.
We quit going there around 2010 primarily because of the frequent tick encounters. There’s something about the foliage or micro-climate in that area that they like.
Sometime later I picked up a copy of Mike Clelland’s book, “Ultralight Backpackin’ Tips”, and could only feel exasperated at his recommendation to cowboy camp or sleep under an open tarp.
When you look at the CDC map of Lyme Disease, Michigan is surrounded by the heaviest occurrences of reported infections, from Minnesota and Wisconsin to our west, to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the entire northeastern US.
All those bloggers posting about their UL backpacking out west, sleeping in netless MLD tarps and pyramid shelters. They have no idea how good they have it.
Orienteering is one of the outdoor sports I enjoy. There’s one event I’ve attended that is held each Spring in western Pennsylvania. The last time I was there, I did the event wearing Permethrin treated clothing as well as full gaiters. I still had to brush about half a dozen ticks off the front of my pants. Another couple attending the event had to pick several ticks off of their skin on their upper backs.
I agree with Kat’s assessment. Camp without a fully enclosed tent? Not a chance in the midwest or northeast. Treat my pants, hiking gaiters, socks, and shirt with Permethrin? Every season.Dec 15, 2018 at 3:33 pm #3569058Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
Asian longhorned tick
This tick species currently only known to spread by one tick: Heartland virus.
Heartland virus disease is one of those tickborne diseases that causes a generic, albeit intense, form of sickness. People with Heartland have fevers, muscle aches, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, and fatigue, and while that may not sound too terrible, consider that most patients feel bad enough to go to the hospital and get admitted. There’s no treatment for the disease and no known medications capable of preventing it, so all healthcare providers can do is treat the symptoms. Most people recover, but a few have died.
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