Deer ticks and Lyme disease
Jan. 21, 2012, the Star Tribune published an article entitled, “Warm winters bring invested springs — pesky ticks like warm winters too.”
A key fact we learned from last year includes a quote from David Neitzel, Minnesota Department of Health epidemiologist: “If enough ticks are able to find suitable conditions, they will survive from year to year, and their populations expand. Just as warm weather can keep ticks alive, heavy snowfalls can protect them from harshly cold temperatures.”
This is the contradiction. Unusually warm weather such as we experienced last winter, and so far this winter, will mean even moderate to heavy amounts of snowfall will melt quickly. Melting snow works to the benefit of tick proliferation because ticks require wet conditions to survive.
Perhaps the northern Minnesota climate in the 2013 winter season will regress back to that of past winters, with deep snow and bitterly cold temperatures.
As of Wednesday, Jan. 9, however, the sun shone all day. The temperature started out at 28 degrees, and by afternoon reached 39 degrees. Snow melted wherever the sun was shining.
The temperature Jan. 10 reached 43 degrees. Jan. 11, the temperature at 5 a.m. was 36 degrees with rain.
If these mild winters persist, we can be assured of another significant tick infestation starting in the next two to three months. Therefore, it is important that people be continually made aware of the eminent dangers of Lyme disease.
I highly recommend that anyone who is reading this letter obtain a copy of a DVD called “Under Our Skin.” Order a copy for $35.95 by emailing Debbie@openeyepictures.com or contact Open Eye Pictures: Sausalito, Calif., at 415-332-3266.
It will help to make you and your family aware of the devastating consequences of Lyme disease, and the simple steps people can take to prevent incurrence or recurrence.