Tick Alert for 2012: Extra Caution Required
Living in the Northeast part of the country, we are always on watch for ticks. These are the tiny critters that transmit Lyme disease to humans, dogs, and other mammals.
According to The Wall Street Journal, 2012 is expected to be a high alert year for tick activity. Warm winter temperatures and decreased low field mice population are two of the primary causes of the increased potential for finding a tick on yourself or your pets. I can vouch for that: In the middle of March, after raking leaves, my husband found a tick crawling on him.
Now, a high tick alert may not be much concern for those of you who are indoor cats. But for people like me, who are outdoor cats, this news is extremely concerning. Ticks can be found in the woods, under leaves, on stone walls, even on golf courses! Not to mention, your pets can bring them indoors.
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose and can cause permanent, long-term damage to the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, and brain. You may not even know that you have been bit by a tick, they are such sly little bugs.
Just thinking about ticks gives me the creepy crawlies.
The best bet is prevention, and I recommend that you read the article from The Wall Street Journal. You may also wish to contact your local Board of Health and look into Lyme disease programs in your area. If you live in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, Sturbridge Lyme Disease Awareness (S.L.A.M) has a fantastic number of resources about ticks and Lyme disease.