Mild winter, wet 2018 may cause surge in ticks in NJ, Northeast

deer tick, new jersey environment news

SCOTT FALLON / NORTHJERSEY.COM – A mild winter coupled with an excessively rainy 2018 may lead to a surge in the number of ticks capable of transmitting Lyme disease this spring, according to researchers at Rutgers University.

More blacklegged ticks will be out in force as temperatures begin to rise after thriving last summer and fall, and surviving the winter thanks to favorable weather.

“Ticks, like most small organisms, are very sensitive to dry weather. It kills them,” said Dina M. Fonseca, a Rutgers entomology professor and director of its the Center for Vector Biology. “But we have been experiencing exceptionally wet seasons. It slows down their decline in number. So we could end up for a very large population this year.” …

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