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Warm Weather Raises Early Concerns About Tick Activity

This article is more than 11 years old.

With temperatures expected to hit the mid-60s Thursday, it will certainly feel a lot like spring. Some might be wondering how the state's unseasonably warm winter will affect the tick population.

Richard Pollack, a public health entomologist, joined WBUR's Morning Edition to talk about what the warm weather means for New England's tick population.

"Unseasonably warm weather has extended the season of activity for the ticks," Pollack said. "So normally there would have been a dense snow pack, the ticks would have been well protected by that."

Pollack says that while ticks may have been more active this winter, the lack of snow could, to some extent, burden the tick population.

"They are exquisitely sensitive drying out," Pollack said. "Really dry conditions are a terrible thing for deer ticks."

Pollack said predicting this season's lyme disease risk is difficult and will depend on weather conditions over the next few weeks as we head into spring.

This program aired on March 8, 2012.

Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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