Experts predict this summer will be a “ticking time bomb.” Here’s how to stay safe – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Every summer we hear the same warning that it will be a bad year for dust mites. However, entomologists (also known as insect experts) say 2021 will be able to respond to this message. In fact, the weather channel even called this year a “tick time bomb”. Robert Rockwood, a certified entomologist associate at Ehrlich Pest Control, said the tick population increased in 2021. He’s already noticed. “Because of the winter and the hot climate. We are already seeing more mites this season than last year. ” He said. Why is a rainy winter important? Spreads in moisture. As a result, “in areas that have experienced wetter and warmer winters, tick numbers will increase this spring and summer,” said Dr Ben Hottel, director of technical services at Orkin. The life cycle of arthropods is over, ”explains Anna Berry, entomologist and technical manager certified by the Terminix board of directors. “It may take a while to move from one stage of development to another if it is very cold, very hot or very dry.” Rainy winters and springs have warm temperatures. “It provides the warmth and humidity necessary for rapid growth,” she says. ‘Rainy weather,’ said Berry. The problem is, these small pests bite people, not just people lying around, says Jean I. Tsao, associate professor of clinical science of fisheries, wildlife, and large animals at Michigan State University. Said the doctor. She cites data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week showing that tick bites have been on the rise in recent years. “This doesn’t apply to the whole of the United States, but to regions of the Midwest, Northeast and Midwest,” Tsao said. “American dog ticks are very active in these areas. Black-footed mites are also active in the Northeast and Midwest. Both species have illnesses, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, respectively. Is known to wear. It’s about the size of a poppy seed. It has no wings and is flat and oval until it sucks blood, Berry said. The color depends on the type of tick. Looks like a greyish white, brown, black, reddish brown or yellowish. How to protect yourself from ticks To prevent bites, the CDC uses at least 20% DEET, Picardine, or tick repellents containing IR3535. Apply to exposed skin and avoid bushy areas with lots of grass and leaf debris (also called mite minefields). You can also treat your clothing and equipment with products containing 0.5% of the powerful insecticide Permethrin. If you are hiking, walk in the center of the trail, not near bushes prone to mites. If you enter the room after spending a day outside, take a shower within 2 hours to wash away any remaining creatures. You can also use a mirror to closely check your entire body for ticks (or have someone you trust to inspect them). Clothes can be thrown directly into the washing machine, but it is recommended to do so in a warm place. CDC said. If you don’t want to wash your clothes, throw them in the dryer and run the machine on high speed for 10 minutes to make sure the ticks are killed. Landscaping can protect your home from dust mites. “You can reduce the presence of all species of mites by regularly cutting the lawn, creating barriers between overgrown shrubs and your property, and reducing defoliation,” he said. What to do if you find dust mites on your body If you find dust mites on your body, the CDC recommends eliminating them as soon as possible. The method is as follows. Use fine-tipped tweezers to catch the tick as close to the surface of the skin as possible. Pull with stable, even pressure. (Mites that twist or twist can break the mouth and leave it on the skin.) Clean the bite and hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Flush the mites down the toilet or soak them in alcohol, place them in a sealed bag or container, and wrap them tightly with duct tape to remove them. (Many people prefer to keep the mites in case they have strange symptoms and need insects for testing.) What will happen to the mite population for the rest of the summer? I am not sure. According to Tsao, parts of the country are now starting to lack moisture. “If the drought persists, the tick boom is likely to subside,” she says. If the air under the fallen leaves is humid, the mites can rehydrate, but if the humidity drops below 82-25% over a long period of time, the mites will start to die. “The more frequent these drying periods, the higher the tick death rate,” Tsao says.

Every summer we hear the same warning that it will be a bad year for dust mites. However, entomologists (also known as insect experts) say 2021 will be able to respond to this message. in fact, Weather forecast channel This year, it’s also called “Tick Time Bomb”.

Robert Lockwood, Associate Chartered Entomologist Pest control ErichExperts say they are already aware of the spike in tick populations in 2021. “Thanks to warm winters and climate change, we are already seeing more ticks this season than last year. “I go.”

Why is a rainy winter important? Mites breed in humidity. As a result, “In areas that have experienced wetter and warmer winters, the number of ticks will increase this spring. And summer“Dr. Ben Hottel, director of technical services, said. Orkin..

“The hotter and more humid the environment, the faster the life cycle of arthropods”, explains Anna Berry, entomologist and technical manager certified by the association. Terminix“It may take a while to move from one stage of development to another if it is very cold, very hot or very dry.” Rainy winters and springs are hot. In addition to temperature, it “provides the heat and humidity necessary for rapid growth,” she says.

The tick also needs hosts such as deer, mice and birds to survive, and these hosts also tend to thrive in hot, rainy weather, Berry said.

The problem is, these little pests don’t just hang around – They bite peopleSaid Dr. Jean I. Tsao, associate professor of clinical sciences of fisheries, wildlife and large animals at Michigan State University. She cites the following data: Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention This shows that tick bites this week tend to be higher than in recent years.

“This doesn’t apply to the whole of the United States, but to regions of the Midwest, Northeast and Midwest,” Tsao said. “American dog ticks are very active in these areas. Black-footed mites are also active in the Northeast and Midwest. Both species are known to carry the following diseases: I am. Spotted fever And Lyme disease,Respectively.

What do dust mites look like?

Most adult mites are about the size of apple seeds and erasers, but they can also be as large as poppy seeds.It has no wings and is flat and oval up to what it sucks blood, said Berry. Different colors. It depends on the type of tickIt may appear greyish-white, brown, black, reddish-brown, or yellow.

How to protect yourself from ticks

CDC to prevent bites It is recommended Apply Tick ​​repellent Avoid areas overgrown with grass and hardwoods (also called mite minefields) containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin. You can also treat clothing and equipment with products containing 0.5% of the powerful insecticide Permethrin.

If you are hiking, walk in the center of the trail, not near bushes where ticks tend to accumulate. If you enter the room after spending a day outside, take a shower within 2 hours to wash away any remaining creatures. You can also use a mirror to closely check your entire body for ticks (or have someone you trust to inspect them).

According to the CDC, clothes can be thrown directly in the washing machine, but it is recommended to do so at high temperatures.If you don’t want to wash the clothes, throw them in the dryer to make sure ticks are removed. killed. Run the machine at high speed for 10 minutes.

According to Hottel, landscaping can protect your property from ticks. “By regularly cutting the lawn, creating barriers between overgrown shrubs and your property, and reducing defoliation. All tick species,” He said.

What to do if you find a tick on your body

If you find a tick on your body, CDC We recommend that you remove it as soon as possible. The method is as follows.

  • use Fine point tweezers Catch the tick as close to the surface of the skin as possible.
  • Pull with stable, even pressure. (Don’t twist or twist ticks – the mouth can break and stay on the skin.)
  • Clean the bite area and hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  • Flush the mites down the toilet or soak them in alcohol, place them in a sealed bag or container, and wrap them tightly with duct tape to remove them. (A lot of people like to leave ticks behind just in case. Feel strange symptoms Insects are needed for the test. )

It is not known what the tick population will be for the remainder of the summer. According to Tsao, parts of the country are now starting to lack moisture. “If the drought persists, the tick boom is likely to subside,” she says.

If the air under the fallen leaves is humid, the mites can rehydrate, but if the humidity drops below 82-25% over a long period of time, the mites will start to die. “The more frequent these drying periods, the higher the tick death rate,” Tsao said.

Until then, stay safe during your outdoor adventure.

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