A recent report from Cornell University bodes badly for many pets across the United States this spring, summer and fall. This year is predicted to be an especially bad one for ticks.
Many factors add up to an explosion in tick numbers. In 2010, the Northeast had a great crop of acorns. That meant more white footed mice (a major host of deer ticks which can carry Lyme Disease). Of course, more hosts meant that more ticks found a blood meal and were able to breed as well.
Then in 2011, the acorn crop was a bust. Despite the mild winter, many mice were not able to survive. That leaves a large number of ticks looking for substitute hosts to feed on. Unfortunately, your pets (and your family) are wonderful substitute hosts from the tick’s point of view.
In addition, an unseasonably warm winter in many parts of the country has added fuel to this explosion in the tick population. This upswing in ticks is dangerous because they can transmit diseases to both dogs and humans. Check out VetDepot’s tick infographic for an outline of the life cycle of these parasites as well as the risk of tick-borne diseases. Help keep your pets and your family safe by discussing tick prevention with your veterinarian!