Many states have experienced a shockingly mild winter this year, and Spring popped in towing record-setting warm weather with it. Because of the unexpected, sudden warmth, entomologists say ticks will likely be a huge problem this year because their eggs will hatch much sooner than usual.
The problem is that the little guys that will be coming out of those eggs are so small, they can’t even be seen with the naked eye–unlike their adult counterparts, which are the ones most of us are used to. And because they attach themselves to any warm-blooded creature who comes along, their potential to spread disease is great.
The CDC has provided a useful list of occupations that may expose people to Lyme disease, which is what ticks are most known for and can cause anything from minor aches and pains to long-term heart problems.
The early warmth means spiders have also seen a jump in numbers already this year, including the brown recluse, which has a deadly bite. Spiders have been in the news recently because of other weather-related problems–namely flooding, which was to blame for a huge amount of arachnids descending upon an Australian town earlier this month in order to escape rising waters. An adult jumping spider is also in headlines this week after an important find was made.
The CDC recommends spraying lawns with pesticides to help control tick population, as well as protecting any animals that spend time outdoors with medicated flea and tick prevention. They also say that a Lyme disease vaccine is no longer available, as the company who created it discontinued its manufacture in 2002. If you were vaccinated before then, chances are good that you are not protected by it any longer.