All about ticks at the Marcellus Free Library

Ticks and Lyme disease.

A Tuesday evening at the Marcellus Free Library brings more than 40 neighbors together, not because of books, but for ticks.

Rick Witkowski is concerned for his family's safety.

"I spend a lot of time outdoors, my grandchildren spend a lot of time outdoors and I wasn't very well educated," says Witkowski.

SUNY ESF assistant professor Brian Leydet has 10 years experience studying Lyme and tick-born diseases. With the Recent wet weather, a question on many people's minds is how ticks respond to damp conditions.

"They do like wet and dampness but not this wet and damp," says Leydet.

Flooding can wash ticks away but it's not going to decrease the thousands found in large areas. The dampness we are used to feeling lately can also mean more places for ticks to hide.

"Anywhere that's moist, even your waistband," says Leydet. "These ticks like to crawl and find the right place to attach and those are moist places out of your reach. Even in your ear. I don't want to freak people out, but it can happen. You need to be aware."

That awareness is what Rick wanted from tonight's tick talk, and it seems he got it.

"It was a great program," says Witkowski. "The tick that carries Lyme disease is not the one that I've been encountering so far because that one is about the size of a speck of pepper and the one's I've been seeing, the wood ticks, are quite large, so I feel a little bit better about that."

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