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Experts Predict Summer 2021 Will Be a ‘Tick Time Bomb’ — Here’s How to Stay Safe

“We are already seeing more ticks this season than last year.”

  • Experts predict summer 2021 will be a “tick time bomb.”
  • Due to a mild winter, most parts of the country are already seeing more ticks this season than last year, as the tiny insects thrive in humidity.
  • Here’s how to protect yourself from tick bites, which can lead to various illnesses including Lyme disease.

Every summer, we hear the same warning: It’s going to be a bad year for ticks. But entomologists (a.k.a. insect experts) say that 2021 could live up to that message. In fact, The Weather Channel even referred to this year as a “tick time bomb.”

Robert Lockwood, associate certified entomologist for Ehrlich Pest Control, says experts are already noticing a thriving tick population in 2021. “Due to the mild winters and climate change, we are already seeing more ticks this season than last year,” he says.

Why does a wet winter matter? Ticks thrive in humidity. As a result, “regions that experienced wetter and warmer winters will have higher tick populations this spring and summer,” says Ben Hottel, Ph.D., technical services manager for Orkin.

The warmer and moister an environment becomes, “the faster the arthropod life cycle is completed,” explains Anna Berry, a board-certified entomologist and technical manager at Terminix. “When it gets very cold, very hot, or very dry, it may take longer to go from one stage of development to the next.” A wet winter and spring, along with warm temperatures, “provides the necessary warmth and humidity for fast development,” she says.

Read more about how to stay safe from ticks this summer written by Korin Miller here.

LAST UPDATED

May 7, 2022

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