Lifestyle

Could the 2019 Texas Tick Season be Worse than Usual?

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Tick season is here, and unfortunately, here in Texas, it may mean a massive tick population increase. It’s been predicted that 2019 will bear a high number of ticks as compared to recent years. They’re thriving thanks, in part, to the wet year we’ve had to date, in addition to warmer temperatures, which allow ticks to be considerably active early and for longer periods throughout the year.

In Texas this year, tick season started in late April and will likely run through October, a much longer period than usual. Online sources indicate that with the added humidity resulting from El Niño, the three tick species known to do well in Texas, the Rocky Mountain Wood, the Brown Dog, and the Western Blacklegged, will see alarming increases in their numbers. With that comes the need for increased awareness around tick-borne illnesses. Lyme disease is known to be carried by the black-legged ticks. They’re known to have two-to-three-year life cycles which are most active between the months of May and July. They’re also common carriers of such things as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, the Powassan virus, Tularemia, and Babesiosis.

Could the 2019 Texas Tick Season be Worse than Usual?

Photo: Flickr/Fairfax County

Although Lyme disease seems to be more well-known as being carried by ticks, Texans need to be aware of all the ailments a tick can carry and pay attention to signs and symptoms. Nausea, fatigue, headaches, and fever can result, and if there’s even the slightest thought that this may be bite-related, this person should seek medical attention. These microscopic creatures can be hard to detect, and so you can imagine that a bite from one is also rather minute.

The best route for those who wish to maintain a healthy outdoor lifestyle is to be preventative. Consistently use bug repellent with permethrin, put on thick socks, and, where possible, wear boots and long pants. Try to avoid areas with high grass or brush with lots of leaves. Give your body a thorough check if you’ve been in an area prone to ticks. If you find one, remove it with tweezers immediately, and call your doctor if you begin to experience any of the symptoms noted above. If you have pets, don’t leave them out of this equation. Check them frequently for ticks and consult your vet for tick prevention for dogs and cats.