Ticks are mostly just an annoyance when you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors, but they can also be harmful to you and your pets.
Many tick species carry pathogens that can cause serious illnesses including Lyme disease, and other bacterial diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. We may only be in the first week of Spring but some western Massachusetts residents are already taking precautions to avoid ticks.
“We have the bike path in Easthampton and we try to stay on the path, but they say there are ticks in the area,” said Reggie Marsolais of Easthampton. “It’s definitely a concern for this area.”
According to the CDC, this year is expected to be one of the worst tick years on record. Cornell University researchers have already identified 26 tick species along the East Coast.
In Massachusetts, ticks start becoming more active this time of year so if you plan on going hiking anytime soon you’ll want to take certain steps to protect yourself. Experts recommend wearing long sleeves, tall socks, and closed-toed shoes anytime you’re in a wooded area.
You can also prevent your yard from being a habitat for ticks by mowing the lawn regularly and clearing brush around your home.