Sound Off: Deer ticks
Why are deer ticks so prevalent these days as compared with in my youth more than 40 years ago? It used to be a person could be in a field or the woods for an extended period of time and never get a tick. These days, a walk in a vacant lot will produce one or more deer ticks in very little time.
There are several reasons for the rise of ticks in the state, according to Peninah Blumhagen, of the Lawrence-based Kansas Tick-Borne Disease Advocates: • Ballooning deer population. For instance, in 1965 hunters in the state killed approximately 1,500 deer; these days they kill about 100,000 annually. • Expanded tick habitat — trees, grass, weeds, low bushes — due in part to increased rainfall lately. • Warmer winters. • Increased number of birds and small mammals sharing habitat with humans. • Suburbanization of natural land.