Record Number of Tickborne Diseases Reported
Eliminating winter pests can help reduce the tick population
State and local health departments reported a record number of tickborne disease cases to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2017, according to newly released data.
Cases of Lyme disease increased from 36,429 in 2016 to 42,743 in 2017, the CDC report said. The total number of tickborne diseases increased from 48,610 in 2016 to 59,349 in 2017.
The recent increase follows an accelerating trend of tickborne diseases, which have doubled between 2004 and 2016. Several factors can affect tick numbers, such as temperature, rainfall, humidity, and increased host populations, such as mice.
Controlling pests in and around facilities can help reduce the number of ticks. Additionally, following precautions when working outdoors can also help prevent tickborne diseases. Follow these tips from the CDC and be sure to share them with your exterior maintenance teams:
- Wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and shoes and socks when working outdoors.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
- Treat clothing with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin (which will remain on clothes through several washings).
- Check your body and clothing for ticks using a hand-held or full-length mirror after coming indoors from potentially tick-infested areas.
- If possible, shower within two hours of coming indoors.