Deer overpopulation helps spike cases of Lyme Disease

Deer overpopulation helps spike cases of Lyme Disease

ROCHESTER , N.Y. (WROC-TV) – We’re in the midst of deer breeding season and experts are already warning about a threat posed by the current overpopulation.

An explosion of ticks over the past few years has locked New York in the top spot for Lyme Disease in the country.

According to the Monroe County Health Department, Lyme Disease has tripled in the United States over the last 15 years. Experts say they’re now seeing 80 to 90 confirmed cases every year.

“It’s been dramatic, the last few years I’ve noticed ticks out and about and I often find them on me and on my clothes, whereas four or five years ago I never did,” said Retired Wildlife Biologist Art Kirsch.

A lot of it has to do with the overpopulation of deer. Kirsch says Ontario County has the highest density of deer population in the state. Monroe County follows close behind.

“Despite the DEC’s best efforts to reduce the population by issuing more deer permits there’s just not enough hunters to fill all available permits, so we’ve dealt with this overpopulation of deer– this increase in ticks is one byproduct of that.” said Kirsch.

Ticks like to hide in debris, especially shaded areas. So when raking your leaves try to cover yourself up as much as possible Also try to keep kids from jumping into the piles.

Kirsch suggests after a long hard day of yard work make sure your checking yourself and your pets thoroughly.

Some Lyme Disease symptoms to watch for are: Fever, fatigue, muscle aches and a bulls-eye rash.
Doctors say if you’re able to remove the tick within 24 hours you should be okay.

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