As a New Yorker, there is almost no better feeling than to stuff the snow boots in the closet, slide in to a pair of flip-flops and head outside to enjoy a few months of warm sunshine. Whether you’re hitting the trails, the beach, the park, or just throwing some burgers on the grill, be sure to take precautions to avoid one of summer’s worst spoilers: ticks.
Although small, deer ticks can pack a mighty punch, carrying a number of diseases. Over the last 25 years, the incidents of tick-borne illnesses have spread. Once most prevalent on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley, the number of Lyme and other diseases have become common into the Capital Region, north into the Adirondacks and west toward Syracuse.
In July of this year, a new species of tick, commonly called the longhorned tick, was discovered in Westchester County. These ticks are not native to the United States and while they are known to spread disease to humans in other countries, officials need to conduct research to see if they will transmit disease to humans in the U.S.
But these little black-legged parasites don’t have to ruin your camping trip. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recommends taking steps to help you enjoy a tick-free summer:
The DEC also recommends ways to reduce the risk of ticks around your home:
Summer is the perfect time to get outside, soak up that Vitamin D, and enjoy time with family and friends. Enjoy the water, woods, and summer to their fullest by being vigilant and proactive about tick prevention.
The New York State Department of Health, Cornell University, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency also have educational resources about ticks, repellents, and other prevention measures.
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