DURHAM, N.H. – University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension professor and entomologist Alan Eaton is available to talk about ticks and preventing the spread of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
Eaton is available at 603-862-1734 or Alan.Eaton@unh.edu. (Due to his heavy field work schedule, Eaton is not always available on short notice.)
Eaton expects ticks to be abundant this summer, due to the heavy snow cover that protected them from drying out over the winter. Risk of Lyme disease is highest from now until early July, when poppy seed-sized nymphs are active. New Hampshire has the highest incidence of Lyme disease in the nation, with most black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis, formerly known as deer ticks) concentrated in Rockingham, Strafford, and Hillsborough counties.
The most effective way to protect oneself from Lyme disease is to check daily for ticks, says Eaton. Because ticks must feed for at least 24 hours to transmit Lyme disease, checking for and removing ticks daily prevents them from spreading disease.
“It doesn’t cost money,” he says. “It takes a little bit of time, but if a high percentage of residents and visitors did that, our rates would plummet.”
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,300 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students
Photograph available to download:
Alan Eaton, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension professor and entomologist
Credit: UNH Photographic Services
Female black-legged tick.
Credit: Alan Eaton
Read Eaton’s fact sheet on the biology and management of ticks in New Hampshire: http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/resource000528_rep1451.pdf