NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 5:31 PM
Adult male (left) and adult female (right) deer ticks can spread Lyme disease and a host of other pathogens.
HARSH winters, like the one that recently ended, have a chilling side effect: more ticks than usual.
Heavy snow acts as insulation, protecting the Lyme disease-carrying creepers from the cold, leading to a spike in tick populations in the Northeast, experts warn.
“Snow acts as a great blanket. If they’re kept cozy with lots of snow, there shouldn’t be a big kill-off,” Prof. Ralph Garruto, head of the tick-borne disease program at Binghamton University, told the Daily News.
And while you may think you’re safe in the city, the little critters are popping up in semi-urban areas in places like playgrounds and other green spaces, says Garruto.
“The risk of contact and infection is at least as high as you would find in the wilderness, and maybe higher,” he told the Daily News.
Deer ticks, which are most common in the Northeast, can spread Lyme disease and a host of other life-threatening illnesses, like the powassan virus, which was recently found in Connecticut.