Ticks are here, and it looks like a bad season

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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) — We may be in for a long tick season, and the reason comes from a couple years ago, when we saw a lot of acorns.

“Let’s go back to the increase in acorn production,” explains Tim Wallace with GerMadic Pest Control.

“Then we get an increase in mice, which gives an increase in food source for that nymph stage, or larva stage excuse me, of the tick.”

Wallace says those acorns came in 2016, and it can take this full 2 years since for a tick to reach the adult stage. That’s what we are dealing with now.

"You can expect adult ticks to start coming out in late February, and they are going to be around all the way through September,” Wallace says.

With the tick, comes the disease.

“Ticks can transmit disease. One of the most notorious diseases they can carry, Lyme Disease,” Wallace says. “The longer that a tick is attached to us, the more likely that we are going to be exposed to that. The sooner we can get the tick off, the better.”

That’s why the CDC says when removing a tick, don’t use home remedies that call for making the tick come out on its own. It says take tweezers and carefully remove the tick immediately without jerking or twisting. The goal is to keep the tick’s mouth parts intact. The CDC says to then immediately clean the area with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

The CDC offers more tips on tick removal.

Wallace says staying vigilant can help keep the bugs away.

“Take those proactive things like keeping grass cut,” Wallace explains. “Tree lines. We get a lot of additional foliage growing up around sheds or backsides of garages. These are perfect places for ticks to hide.”

And Wallace says there are options to treat your yard.

“Being able to break up their ability to smell CO2, that’s one of my favorite things to do,” Wallace says. “I utilize some organic solutions that break up their ability to smell. Then we use some knockdown type treatment as well, to just keep them out of our yard.”