Tick season doesn’t end after summer

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With warmer temperatures over the next few days, what does that mean for ticks?

You may think because it’s fall, you don’t have to worry about ticks anymore, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“She loves walking. She’s very friendly. She loves seeing people and this is the perfect spot for it,” Emily Novak, of East Greenbush, said.

Novak likes to take her dog Chloe for walks at the Crossings in Colonie because it’s not woodsy like her backyard in East Greenbush where ticks are a problem.

“We’ve found 10 on her at once before which was pretty scary.”

She finds ticks on Chloe all the time and knows she has to keep protecting her from them through the fall and winter.

“It’s still warm outside. They’re still out and about. Just because it’s not summer anymore doesn’t mean they’re gone.”

She’s right. It’s a myth that when summer ends, tick season ends too.

“Ticks are active through about our first real hard frost and until there’s snow on the ground, there will be ticks out,” Bryon Backenson, State Department of Health Research Scientist, said.

In fact, Backenson says now is the time that a different population of ticks come out.

“The ticks are a little bit bigger so they’re easier to spot. They’re easier to notice and to pull off.”

Even if they’re easier to see, he says that doesn’t mean people should stop taking precautions for both themselves and their pets.

“When people go hunting, people go hiking in the fall, when you rake leaves, when kids jump into leaf piles and so forth, those are things that people have to be on the lookout for ticks.”

Still, wear light colored and long clothes and do tick checks. Something that Novak makes sure to do with Chloe.

“We always check her, especially under her ears and her neck, that’s where they hide on her the most.”

While she hasn’t taken other steps like putting a special collar on Chloe, if they keep finding ticks on her, that will change.

“I’ll do anything I can to keep her safe. She’s my baby and I don’t want anything to happen to her.”

Officials say if temperatures remain mild through the winter we could be in for a bad tick season next summer.

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