When we hear about tick-related dangers, illnesses or deaths, then we are likely hearing about an incident that occured in the northeast United States. Most people know by now that ticks are particularly well represented in the forests of the northeast. Lyme disease is most prevalent in this particular region. However, ticks are also a big problem in Tennessee, although lyme disease is much less common in this southern state. The three most common types of ticks encountered in Tennessee include the American dog tick, lone star tick and the brown dog tick. According to experts, these ticks will be encountered far more often than usual in Tennessee during the summer of 2018.
The most well known of all tick-borne diseases is lyme disease. Although ticks are a major problem in the state of Tennessee, lyme disease is not the most common tick-borne disease in the state. The most common tick-borne disease in Tennessee is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. In 2005 alone one hundred and thirty six cases of the disease were reported statewide. This disease is spread by the American dog tick. Another newly discovered tick-borne disease is becoming increasingly prevalent in the state. This disease is known as Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis, or HME. The symptoms of this disease are nearly identical to the symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. However, since researchers know so little about this tick-borne disease, they can only hypothesize that it is spread by the lone star tick.
According to Dr. Graham Hickling, an associate professor of forestry, fisheries and wildlife at the University of Tennessee, residents will not have to wait until summer to notice the high tick populations this year as the ticks will make their presence known within the next few weeks. Lone star ticks and dog ticks will be the two most dangerous ticks at first since they reach adulthood during the spring season. Dr. Hickling also stated that ticks pose a threat to Americans in many regions, so it is a good idea to carry bug spray and even a pair of tweezers in case tick-removal should become necessary while out and about.
Do you think that eradicating ticks is a waste of time since they seem to adapt rapidly to new forms of pest control?