This fall, there’s been an apparent explosion in Pennsylvania’s population of deer ticks, the eight-legged arthropods known as the primary vector of Lyme disease. And that concerns Jacobs, as thousands of hunters prepare to head to the woods for deer season. “This year, the lab has received over 35 percent more deer ticks — from more locations — than last year at the same time,” he said. “Many of these submissions are coming from areas along the Allegheny plateau — the Appalachian corridor that runs from Somerset and Bedford counties in the southwest to Wayne and Pike counties in the northeast. But surprisingly, we’ve received submissions of deer ticks found in municipal parks in urbanized areas, which is almost unheard of. We’ve also heard anecdotally that people are encountering more ticks in the woods.”
Mongabay reports a 35 percent increase in Lyme Disease bearing deer ticks following the hot dry summer.