The east end and , indeed, all of Long Island is currently experiencing a major outbreak of ticks, especially lone star ticks. Black-legged deer ticks have long been a problem and are known carriers of Lyme Disease. Lone Star ticks are also vectors of diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and it is feared that eventually they will become carriers of Lyme disease. The humble dog tick is also making a huge jump in population. The outbreak is probably due to a number of factors including weather, availability of food sources, previous year’s population growth, etc.
The ticks we see on Long Island find hosts through a behavior known as “questing.” A tick will wait on vegetation such as weeds, shrubs, forest verge usually about 2 feet high or slightly taller, extend its’ clawed limbs outward and wait for a host to pass by. Ticks can’t jump or drop down onto their hosts, they simply hang on to a host as it passes by. Adult ticks like to find large animals (such as us) to use as hosts. Ticks are able to wait for very long periods to find hosts and they also use additional techniques to choose sites and find prey. Most tick species have eyes and can detect color and movement. They also detect carbon dioxide output from animals exhaling as they move. This makes them very successful predators and also explains their ability to find and fed on us
We recommend setting up a treatment program for this season at your property to treat the appropriate areas and reduce tick populations. It is also important to check yourself, your kids and your grand-kids after taking woodland walks or being outside in the yard for extended periods.
In any case, Lyme disease or no Lyme disease, nobody likes to get bitten by a tick. Spray programs at this time of year and throughout summer into fall can be very effective. Call Fox Tree Service today to arrange an arborist to check your property and set up a program.