Will the Mild Winter Lead to Increased Deer Tick Activity?

This is a landscaping blog written by landscapers.  We’re landscapers because we like being outside.  Our work is outdoors, and, for most of us, a lot of our recreation is too.

That’s one reason this warm winter has got us worried.

The incidence of Lyme disease has skyrocketed here in Loudoun County over the last few years, and the blacklegged or “deer” ticks that carry it are likely to be more active  following the mild winter we’ve experienced.  And it’s not just in this part of the country.

This CBS Pittsburgh article says that Pennsylvania veterinarians are seeing “a whole lot more deer ticks.”  This January article by Kevin Giles of the Star Tribune in Minnesota says “spring could bring an explosion of blacklegged ticks, those tiny pests that transmit Lyme disease.”  Just last Friday, the Ridgefield Press in New Ridgefield, Connecticut published an article entitled “Warm Winter Could Mean Big Tick Troubles.”

In our business, we know as well as anyone that winter here in the Washington region has been as mild as they come.  That’s got us a little worried about keeping  our employees safe from deer ticks and Lyme disease.  We’re also concerned about our families.

That’s because, according to this 2010 Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy article which references a Loudoun Health Department study, 70% of Lyme disease victims in Loudoun County were infected on their own property.

Blacklegged ticks carry Lyme disease and are common in Loudoun County

There are several Lyme disease resources available here in the area, including the county government and loudounlyme.org.  Because of our love of the outdoors and this community, we’d like to become a trusted resource on the subject as well.  Please comment below to tell us whether you’ve seen any deer ticks yet this year or about your experiences with Lyme disease.  And check back for more updates on what impact the warm winter will have on this year’s tick season.

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