- 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. (See link for article)
- Climate-change researchers overlooked and did not take into account established populations of I. scapularis found in the late 1960’s in the upper Midwest, as well as at Manitoba in 1991, in their climate change model maps. The faulty climate change maps are devoid of any ticks in those areas – yet experience shows otherwise.
- Climate change models overlook the fact that deer ticks were established in northwestern Ontario, southern Manitoba and were already in central Canada prior to 1970. What they predict to happen in the future has already happened in Canada. Their oversight caused a skewed rate of tick expansion and a miscalculation of northward projected movement.
- Warmer winters are in fact lethal to I. scapularis(black-legged) ticks. In fact, overwinter survival dropped to 33% when the snow melted. This has been substantiated by other researchers as well.
- The climate change model actually reflects migratory flight not warmer futuristic temperatures.
- What is important to tick expansion is photoperiod, which is innate and can not be altered by climate. Black-legged ticks require 14 hours of daylight to molt. If ticks can’t molt, they can’t move on to their next life-cycle.
“The hypothesis that I. scapularis ticks will expand further north in the Prairie Provinces because of climate change is not only unscientific, but deceiving.” John Scott, Independent tick researcher
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