NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – Officials at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station say they’ve already tested more than 5,000 ticks submitted by the public this year for Lyme Disease and other pathogens. That’s compared to around 3,000 for all of a typical year.
Officials say around 30 percent of the ticks submitted have tested positive for Lyme– nearly an eight percent increase from what they’ve found in the past.
“Because we had the mild winter, because we had the large population of mice that serve as the host for the larval stages, we were anticipating large numbers, and in fact, that’s what we received,” said Theodore Andreadis, director of the station.
Andreadis is calling for more federal funding to help control the tick population. “That’s the source. You want to deal with it at that level rather than dealing with it when people get sick,” he said.
Andreadis notes that 60 percent of Connecticut is forested– an ideal habitat for ticks. He says this year’s numbers underscore the need to take precautions against ticks, including wearing pants and long sleeves and checking your body thoroughly if you’ve spent any time out of doors, particularly in wooded areas.