Getting Answers: ticks, mosquitoes starting to appear

We’ve been hearing from people that it could be a rough year dealing with ticks and mosquitoes.
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 3:39 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2022 at 4:47 PM EDT
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AGAWAM, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - We’ve been hearing from people that it could be a rough year dealing with ticks and mosquitoes. Folks want to blame the amount of rain we’ve seen, but is that the case?

Some insects thrive in wet weather. However, should you come across ticks or mosquitoes, Natasha Wright, an entomologist with Braman Termite and Pest Elimination, said it is not so much due to rain, but rather the temperatures we experienced this past winter.

“We had a pretty mild winter and a lot of times with mild winters, the ticks and mosquitoes that are over-wintering, hibernating, they won’t get killed off by those sudden low temperatures” Wright explained.

Wright told Western Mass News that can lead to a higher population as we enter the spring and summer months.

“Regardless of what the numbers are, low or high, May and June are going to be the highest population for your ticks and going into the summer is really when you’re going to see those mosquitoes,” Wright added.

Wright said there is no growing trend of more insects. It’s just something that comes with the arrival of spring.

“Just know anytime it’s warm, this can come out, ticks in particular, so just staying away from tick habitat, those areas around transition zones where grass goes into woodlands,” Wright said.

When it comes to ticks and mosquitoes, Wright said there are three keys to protecting yourself. She says wear long sleeves, long pants, and wear repellent when you’re outdoors. If you wind up with a tick on you, Wright said removing it within 24 hours will greatly reduce the chances of getting any disease, such as Lyme disease, that they may be carrying. However, she said there is a proper way to remove the insect.

“You don’t want to twist, burn them with a fire, smother them in Vaseline. People like to do all sorts of weird things to them. Grab them as close to the skin as possible, pull them straight up and if you end of leaving a bit in your skin, like the mouth parts, it will come out just like a splinter,” Wright noted.

Wright said the best way to keep mosquitoes at bay is to remove stagnant water in containers like bird baths, buckets, and wheelbarrows.