Health officials say now is the time to be on the lookout for ticks and mosquitoes to protect yourself from infectious diseases.
Natalie Kwit, state public health veterinarian, said there is a higher prevalence of tick borne disease in the southern half of Vermont. However, she added, it’s important to be on the lookout for ticks and mosquitoes no matter where you are.
“The populations of ticks and mosquitoes change from year to year but we do expect to always have them here in Vermont,” Kwit said.
Kwit said Lyme disease is the most common in Vermont. “We get anywhere from 500 to over 1,000 cases each year depending on the year,” she said.
Wearing clothing that covers more skin can help prevent mosquito bites and ticks.
“So a good action to take is to take a shower within two hours of being out in tick habitat,” Kwit said. “That’s a good opportunity to check all over your body.”
There are symptoms to be on the lookout for.
“Typically it’s fever, headache, less energy, you can get joint and muscle aches,” Kwit said.
It’s important to check your pets too, before they come back into the house.
“On their ears, under the limbs, on the belly and in the groin area,” Kwit said.
Clinton Brown owns Mosquito Joe in Burlington, a mosquito, tick and flea control company. He said they have seen an increase in people calling to get rid of them.
“So the ticks that we are finding for populations are in tall grass,” Brown said. “Around leaf matter, if you have a lot of leaves on the outer perimeter of your property.”
They have also seen an increase in people asking for their help to plan long delayed outdoor weddings and other events.
“I did three separate visits yesterday for wedding events,” Brown said. “People are trying to plan their wedding, they want to walk through a field so they want everyone to be safe.”
Kwit recommends talking to your vet about preventatives for your pet.