With the warm weather seasons moving in, state health officials are reminding residents to protect against ticks.
Ticks are back and can be picked up at places like parks, gardening or hiking.
“On Sunday I was cleaning up the garden bites and I got tick bites,” said Simsbury resident Joyce Simsbury.
Scientists are already testing ticks now at the state Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. They’re predicting a fairly typical tick season this year after a bad season last year.
“Last year as you know, it was pretty outrageous,” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, one of the experts who works at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. “We had a very mild winter. We had a very large population of mice, which supports the larva stages of the tick and we were literally inundated with ticks coming in to the tick testing laboratory with ticks that were being pulled off of people in the state.”
Experts warn that if you get a tick bite the likelihood of contracting an illness like Lyme disease is quite high.
“In our tick testing facility we’re finding that over 50 percent of the ticks that are brought in by the public are infected with one of three organisms that we screen for,” Andreadis said.
The high risk period for ticks starts in mid-May and lasts through July. You can protect yourself by wearing long pants and sleeves or bug spray when going outside, and by checking for ticks when you come in from any outdoor activities.