JOURNEYS WITH JIM: Lone star tick found in Connecticut

Published on Wednesday, 27 September 2017 23:31
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In my last column, I talked about the discovery of about a dozen deer that were found dead in the Portland area. Officials from DEEP Wildlife suspected that the deer died as a result of epizootic hemorrhagic disease.

Over the past two weeks, I have been actively searching for any more information or reports about the discovery. I’m hoping that because no other information has been released, the incident was just an isolated one with no further outbreaks.

It seems that we’ve perhaps dodged one bullet but have ducked right into another. As if EHD isn’t bad enough, a new species of tick has made its way into Connecticut.

A population of the lone star tick as been discovered on Manresa Island, in South Norwalk. The island itself is closed to the public, but somehow these ticks have made it to shore in the town of South Norwalk itself.

There are a few theories as to how they got here in the first place. The lone star tick is native to the southern U.S. and it could have gotten here via birds or people who have visited the south. Getting rid of them is probably never going to be possible now that they have established a foothold in our state.

Unlike the “regular” ticks we already have, lone stars don’t carry the Lyme disease pathogens that infect people, but they do carry other “goodies” that can make people very ill indeed.

In my travels through the woodlands of our state, it seemed that early in the spring and summer months, ticks were very abundant. Not so much lately, though.

I started my annual deer scouting about mid-August and since the archery deer season opened I’ve been hard pressed to find even one of the little “buggers” crawling around on me. I spend most of my time in the central and southwestern part of the state. I can’t speak to what may be found elsewhere, but I’m not complaining.

A few simple tips to avoid tick bites: Use a good tick repellant that you can apply to your clothing. Wear light colors while outdoors. The reason being is that any ticks that may be crawling on you will be easily visible and removable. Take a shower as soon as you return from any outdoor activity. Above all, pet owners, check your pets often and use a good tick repellant topical or collar. Cats and dogs can and do get Lyme disease and can suffer greatly from it.

In other outdoor news this week, it appears that outfitter giants Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops are in the process of merging into one company.

I certainly can’t predict the future, but I hope that any such merger will be of benefit to the consumer by providing better value and selections. I know that for me, certain items that I couldn’t find at one store were available at the other. In this regard, I’d be OK with one stop shopping. I also hope that every employee of each business is able to keep their jobs going forward.

Posted in New Britain Herald, General Sports on Wednesday, 27 September 2017 23:31. Updated: Wednesday, 27 September 2017 23:33.