Environment
2:58 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

RI Tick Population Continues To Rise

After two record-breaking years in 2012 and 2013, the tick population in Rhode Island is continuing to rise.

Mather holds test tubes of ticks.
Credit RIPR FILE

Despite the harsh winter this year, the ticks in the state are thriving. The director of the University of Rhode Island's Tick Encounter Research Center Tom Mather blames the high counts on the cool and humid weather this spring. He said it's very important that people try to protect themselves from ticks.

"What we'd like to see people focusing on is wearing tick-repellent clothes with permethrin on them. The main thing is to not think of these clothes as special clothes that you're saving. You should actually use these clothes on a daily basis, when you're walking your dog, or in your yard gardening," said Mather.

Mather said that in addition to causing Lyme disease, ticks can transmit malaria-like parasites and other types of bacteria that cause flu-like symptoms.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? We'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org