Beware as ticks in NH awaken from hibernation early due to warmer weather
Written by NH1 News on .
The tick apocalypse is striking early once again in New Hampshire after warmer weather awakened the insects from hibernation.
Stephen Novick, a mosquito and tick control expert, told FOX25 that he received more calls than ever this past winter for insects in people's yards. He believes the warmer weather has caused ticks to emerge earlier than usual.
Ticks — who usually don't die off in the winter and instead hibernate — also came out early in 2016 due to the warm winter.
Dr. Thomas Mather, a tick expert at the University of Rhode Island, told FOX25 that ticks coming out of hibernation are looking for a host to latch onto so they can lay their eggs.
Mather added that the tick boom is also due to the large amount of acorns that fell last fall season. The acorns have increased the rodent population, meaning more potential food for baby ticks.
Bears that are also leaving hibernation early as the weather warms are looking to eat the acorns as well due to the availability of them.
Even though the drought has shown to diminish the tick population, experts warn people to stay aware of these insects and the diseases they carry.
Forty-four percent of the Granite State remains in a severe drought, according to the latest drought monitor issued Thursday. The most impacted areas are the Lakes Region, Merrimack Valley, and seacoast. Far northern New Hampshire is no longer in any kind of precipitation deficit.
In recent years, New Hampshire has had some of the highest incidences of Lyme disease in the United States.