The Blacklegged tick often carries Lyme disease
One of the most common ticks we see is the blacklegged tick. They are pretty small in size and round. The species is getting a lot of attention because it can transmit the organism that causes lyme disease.
Blacklegged ticks are in all ten counties, but are most abundant in the southern part of the state.
The highest populations, according to research at the University of New Hampshire, are seen in Rochester, Durham, and Dover.
Rockingham County has the highest number of cases over a five year span and the lowest goes to Coos County. In 2014 they had just three cases compared to Rockingham's 488.
Most cases of lyme disease are contracted in late May through mid-July.
Many families spend that time in the outdoors, hiking and camping.
Here's how to protect yourself:
- Stay on trails, avoid areas of overgrown bush or grass.
- Wear light colored clothing so ticks can easily be seen.
- Check yourself, children, and pets for ticks, shower after returning indoors for an overnight camping trip or hike.
- Use insect repellent containing deet.
If you do find a tick, you need to remove it promptly.
- Use tweezers to grab the tick's mouth at the surface of the skin.
- Gently pull the tick straight out with a steady motion.
- Clean the area.
- Do not squeeze the tick.