Global warming means a rising tide of ticks
Ticks are notoriously difficult to work with in the lab for researchers like Dr. Janet Foley, a professor and researcher at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis. For one, they have a slow life cycle. An average tick’s lifespan is three years long, which is a terribly long time to keep the tiny arachnids under observation.
However, global warming is providing just cause for Foley and other researchers to learn more about the tiny bloodsuckers. Their behavior is challenging preconceived notions about ticks and temperature. Previously it was thought that ticks couldn’t survive certain temperatures because it was simply too cold for ticks to function in. However, Foley believes that type of thinking might have to be modified.
Clearly ticks are expanding farther north. “[W]e’re finding a lot of tick species moving into new areas. And a lot of that has to do potentially with climate change [and] animal husbandry practices if we’re cutting forests or recreating grasslands... So as a whole ticks themselves are really becoming an emerging problem, not that they always weren’t anyway, but they are getting worse.
[W]e are seeing them north of [the US], so the question is, it’s not so much that it gets too cold once, but maybe the average cold is less cold than it used to be. Or another thing might be, and I think this is more likely … what if it warms earlier in the spring? What if it actually gets just as cold as it used to but starts giving them a little more time in the spring to come out? Then they don’t have to stay in hibernation as long.
This is especially worrisome for those who live in tropical climes where ticks are “terrible problems.”
facts about Ticks:
Only deer ticks that transmit Lyme disease bacteria. Deer ticks are also known as black-legged ticks in the US, sheep ticks in the Europe or Taiga ticks in Asia. Because it is sometimes to discern the difference between say a deer tick and a dog tick, it's important to save the body of the tick that bit you in order to easily identify it.
You have a 24-hour window to find and remove a feeding tick before it causes an infection for most tick-borne diseases. #staywoke