A series of notes on the radio, television, and printed media has provided information on predicting high populations of ticks in New York this year. This is based on a plague of mice in the Hudson Valley in the summer of 2016 (Forbidding Forecast for Lyme Disease in the Northeast), and on the unpredictable past winter that brought high temperatures in January and February.
This prediction can be easily applied to many other states, including Kentucky. In all likelihood we had good survival of rodents, deer, and lizards this winter; all of them are hosts of ticks. Also, this year, while working in my garden, I found two American dog ticks (Figure 1) starting to engorge my blood.
Although this is a particular incident, I believe people should be aware and be on alert for ticks to prevent tick bites this year. Accurate information on how to avoid tick bites can be found in the recent article written by Dr. Lee Townsend (Be Ready for Ticks).
By Raul T. Villanueva, Extension Entomologist