Ticks Pose Increasing Threat in Bay Area Amidst Rainy Season Surge
Ticks, those tiny arachnids notorious for transmitting diseases, have become an even greater cause for concern in the Bay Area this year.
Recent surveys conducted in Portola Valley and surrounding regions have unveiled a surge in disease-carrying tick populations, with experts attributing this rise to the exceptionally heavy rainfall experienced during the previous winter.
The Bay Area Lyme Foundation, established in 2012 and headquartered in Portola Valley, regularly undertakes tick surveys across various locations in the region, including the Windy Hill Preserve in Portola Valley.
In their most recent survey conducted in March, the foundation’s Executive Director, Linda Giampa, revealed that while the data is still being finalized, early estimates suggest a noticeable 10-20% increase in tick numbers compared to their last survey in 2019.
Linda Giampa noted, “Collecting ticks this year was notably easier compared to 2019. Given the substantial rainy season, it’s evident that the tick population has flourished.”
Extended Tick Season Anticipated due to Moisture. You should also check Former NFL Player Henry Ruggs Sentenced for Fatal DUI Crash in Las Vegas.
This year’s proliferation of ticks is not the only concern; the tick season is also projected to extend due to the moisture-rich environment.
Ordinarily, tick numbers begin to decline by August or September; however, this pattern may be disrupted this year.
Giampa explained, “The prolonged greener landscape caused by abundant rain has contributed to this phenomenon. Ticks thrive in moist environments, and the sustained lushness has led to a greater presence.”
The Bay Area Lyme Foundation teamed up with researchers from Northern Arizona University and Colorado State University for this year’s tick surveys.
The methodology employed is remarkably straightforward.
“The survey process involves attaching a white felt fabric to a long pole, dragging it along paths, and collecting ticks found on it,” Giampa detailed. “Ticks are then categorized and preserved in jars.”
Tick-Borne Diseases: A Serious Health Concern
Tick-borne diseases, with Lyme disease at the forefront, pose intricate health challenges with severe consequences, as emphasized on the foundation’s website.
Early symptoms of these diseases encompass fever, headache, fatigue, joint stiffness, muscle discomfort, and swollen lymph nodes.
If left untreated, these symptoms can escalate, significantly impacting an individual’s quality of life.
Foundation’s Comprehensive Efforts in Lyme Disease Research
The Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s impact extends beyond its Portola Valley headquarters, as it actively funds Lyme disease research across the nation.
Collaborating closely with prominent Lyme disease specialists nationwide, the foundation has contributed a remarkable $25 million towards research efforts.
In addition to its research initiatives, the foundation offers valuable local resources.
Giampa encourages residents of Portola Valley and nearby communities to visit the foundation’s headquarters at 884 Portola Road. You may also read Renowned Musician and Songwriter Robbie Robertson Passes Away at 80.
Here, visitors can gain insights into tick-checking techniques and strategies to prevent tick-borne diseases.
Practical Tips for Tick Prevention
Giampa recommended practical steps for outdoor enthusiasts to minimize tick exposure.
After outdoor activities, thorough tick checks on both humans and pets are advised. Additionally, she suggested placing outdoor attire in a hot dryer for 20 minutes post-hike, effectively eliminating any hidden ticks.
As the Bay Area contends with an expanding tick population this year, it is crucial for residents to stay informed and proactive in safeguarding their health against the risks associated with tick-borne diseases.