If you thought 2020 couldn’t possibly send any more surprises, think again. Recent news reports an unexpected and rapid growth of lone star ticks in several New England regions. So, not only has 2020 become one of the most imperative years for mosquito control, but now tick control in Massachusetts is just as crucial.
Once confined to the southern areas of the United States, the lone star tick now has increasing populations in Cape Cod, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. With this growing population, our area is now threatened by three common species; the deer tick, the dog tick, and the lone star tick.
Understanding the species
The lone star tick is identified by the single white dot on the backside of females. We mention females because it is she, and the nymphs, who are the most frequent biters. This type of tick is extremely aggressive and feeds on humans as well as deer and other wildlife.
The lone star tick is known to transmit the following diseases:
- Bourbon virus disease
- Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI)
- Heartland virus disease
- Ehrlichia chaffeensis
Since thousands of eggs can be laid at once, the lone star quickly establishes itself in ideal environments. Preferring moderate, moist temperatures, many areas of the south shore have become a perfect breeding ground. Beyond the temperature, the increase in deer and turkey populations allow these creatures access to an abundant food supply.
An outlook for the future
Several experts have studied and are reporting on the outlook of the New England tick population. In other areas of the country where this species is present, the lone star tick will often dominate and eliminate the current species (deer and dog ticks).
With a possible changing of the species, many are concerned about the types of diseases that the lone star carries. Much different than Lyme disease, New England needs to prepare for an onset of unprecedented tick disease. However, many of the symptoms are difficult to distinguish from a spotted fever.
Because of this change, it’s imperative that tick studies, surveys, and tick control in Massachusetts be taken with the utmost caution and seriousness. At Allgreen Lawn Care, we’re prepared to do our part in keeping your family safe by offering several tick control programs.
For more information, or to obtain your free estimate, visit us online or give us a call at (781) 762-7080.