Thursday, July 29, 2021

How 2021 Being a Mast Year Contributes to the Tick Population

The erratic weather patterns experienced this year contribute to 2021 being a  mast year, when trees go into overproduction mode. But how is this related to the tick population? Rodents, the favorite hosts for ticks, are all well fed in mast years which results in explosive increases in the tick population. Once ticks attach themselves, they can transmit numerous illnesses. To reduce the chance of infection, the CDC recommends the use of a fine-tipped tweezers such as TickEase for safe removal. Made from stainless steel it removes all size and types of ticks from humans and pets and can be heat sterilized.  

"Mast" is the botanical name for the nuts, seeds, buds, or fruits of trees and shrubs that are consumed by wildlife. There are two kinds of mast: hard mast and soft mast. Hard mast includes things like acorns and walnuts, while soft mast refers to fruits and berries like crabapples and blueberries. While deer and dogs are common tick carriers, rabbits, mice and birds are also huge culprits. 

The harsh temperatures we experienced early last fall and lead to pollination problems, and now this strange summer weather pattern are negative effects that cause the trees to enter a survival mode. This results in the production of an unusually large amounts of seeds to keep species from going extinct which simultaneously keeps animals and birds that carry ticks very well fed. 

The best way to keep you family safe from ticks is to introduce a tick inspection into your daily routine. Every night as part of your bedtime regiment, after teeth brushing, make sure your children check all over for ticks, even their scalps, and don’t neglect the crevices!

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