UK entomologist says weather could be playing role in increased tick population

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 3:54 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - According to entomologists that work with the University of Kentucky, they’ve been seeing more reports of ticks over the past few years and they say our weather could be playing a role.

While ticks can be around all year long here in Kentucky, May through July are often times the peak of tick season.

According to Jonathan Larson, an extension entomologist with UK, ticks like to live in overgrown and shaded areas, and they aren’t only found out in the country, but within city parks and recreation areas as well.

Larson says tick populations also seem to increase when we experience warm and wet weather because that promotes growth of brush and grasses, which provides more areas for ticks to hide in.

So what do you do if you find a tick in your skin? Larson says be patient and careful with how you take it out.

“It’s important to get a pair of forceps, get as close to the skin as possible and grip the tick head and pull it steadily out. You don’t want to yank it out, you don’t want to wiggle it out, you just want to pull it up and pull the tick free from your skin,” Larson said.

Larson says if you successful at getting the tick out of your skin you should keep it and take it to your doctor so they can assess it for any potential diseases,

Larson says to avoid using fire, alcohol, or essential oils on a tick if it’s attached because it could cause the tick to pass a disease on to you more easily.

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