As people spend more time outside because of social distancing, tick season is underway. Ticks can spread diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. An Indiana University professor says people need to take extra care — even in their yards.
“Whether being outdoors is in your backyard, or being outdoors in the park nearby, or taking a hike somewhere. All of these activities tend to put people more in environments where they are likely to encounter ticks," says Karo Omodior, an assistant professor at Indiana University’s School of Public Health.
Omodior and his team have been studying ticks near where people live in southern and central Indiana. Nearly 40 percent of the yards and other properties they’ve sampled had at least one tick and about half of those had established tick populations.
“When people don't expect that ticks are there that also means they don't take the required actions — and that puts them more at risk of tick exposure, tick bites,” Omodior says.
Additional coverage from WNIN.
To read about preventative measures property owners can take to manage tick populations in backyards and green spaces, review the Environmental Resilience Institute’s factsheet on the topic.