The mild summer has made the woods a little more dangerous in Missouri. The Conservation Department has warned summertime hikers, hunters, campers, bikers, and fisher folk that this is a good time to pick up ticks on those outdoor excursions. The Health Department says three tick-borne diseases are particularly troublesome, and the mild summer has made ticks more dangerous than they were in last year’s scorching heat.
The Health Department’s Coordinator of Vector-borne Diseases, Karen Yates, says mild weather brings them closer to people. In hotter weather, she says, the ticks “retreat and they’re back in the woods waiting until they can come out again.”
She says ticks carry three diseases that grow more threatening the longer they go untreated–ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Tularemia. There are no vaccines against diseases from tick bites.
She says DEET-based insecticides are good protections. And an inspection for ticks after going back indoors is a good idea even if an insecticide has been used.