Is Climate Change the Reason for Rising Tick Populations?

Posted by Stacey Venzel

As temperatures rise, ticks are moving further north.

Ticks used to be a problem in the U.S. up to the Canadian border, but now their geographic range is spreading.

As winters become shorter and average temperatures rise, tick populations around the globe are growing. These disease-carrying pests are capitalizing on the weather changes, invading previously non-infested territories on their migratory routes.

dog ticks

Reported Lyme disease cases in the U.S. have already doubled since 1991 according to the EPA. Carleton College's Teach for the Earth reports:

"Climate change will have the following effects on Lyme disease: An acceleration of the tick's developmental cycle, a prolonged developmental cycle, increased egg production, increased population density, and a broader range of risk areas."

In addition to increased numbers of Lyme disease infections in people and pets, the tick-borne Powassan virus is also on the rise. Mammals have been shown to contract the virus, creating concern for pet owners.

READ MOREHow to Spot Tick Eggs This Summer

tick

Climate change may just be the harbinger of higher tick infestations. Make sure your pet is protected when romping outside, and check your pet for ticks daily before they come back into the house.

For animals that spend all day outdoors, it is recommended to set up a thorough check as part of their daily care routine, especially in areas heavily concentrated with ticks.

Has your pet contracted a tick-borne disease? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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Is Climate Change the Reason for Rising Tick Populations?