Sound Off: Deer ticks
<b>Why are deer ticks so prevalent these days as compared with in my youth more than 40 years ago? It used to be a person could be in a field or the woods for an extended period of time and never get a tick. These days, a walk in a vacant lot will produce one or more deer ticks in very little time. </b>
There are several reasons for the rise of ticks in the state, according to Peninah Blumhagen, of the Lawrence-based Kansas Tick-Borne Disease Advocates:
• Ballooning deer population. For instance, in 1965 hunters in the state killed approximately 1,500 deer; these days they kill about 100,000 annually.
• Expanded tick habitat — trees, grass, weeds, low bushes — due in part to increased rainfall lately.
• Warmer winters.
• Increased number of birds and small mammals sharing habitat with humans.
• Suburbanization of natural land.