2020 Tick Forecast
Ticks can be nuisances (no one wants to have to tweezer a tick off their skin, or their child’s skin, or a pet’s), and due to the diseases they carry, then can be real threats to human health. What’s worse is that while there is a primary time of year when ticks are most active—late spring, summer, and early fall—ticks are reproducing, finding hosts, and acting like pests in general all throughout the year.
As “tick expert” Dr. Thomas Mather says, “Tick season is pretty much every season.”
Still, climatic conditions can make some years worse for ticks than others. Ticks thrive in humidity, so a wet year can boost populations and increase the number of places they can live in. And warm winters and lingering summer heat add weeks of activity for the animals that ticks use as hosts, making them more likely to spread into the areas where humans live.
For 2020, forecasters predict that the warm-weather months in the US will be a bad time for anyone who wants to avoid ticks, with tick populations likely to be larger than usual, and weather conditions likely to put ticks in range of people for much longer than average. And while some regions, most notably the Southeast, may not see more tick activity than usual, most states will experience the warmer, wetter conditions that drive tick populations—and the prospect of tick borne diseases—skyward.
The Bottom Line
Depending on where you live, climactic conditions will make ticks a more significant problem in 2020 than in the average year. That may leave you and your family at risk for tick-borne diseases. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the outdoors. By taking some precautions you can make tramping through the woods a safe activity, and by being proactive with your home environment you can reduce the risks you might face in your neighborhood.