13: Number of tick species that have been identified in Vermont (click here for the full list). Of these 13 species, 5 are known to bite humans and 4 of those transmit diseases. However, over 99% of all tickborne diseases reported to the Vermont Department of Health are caused by only 1 tick —the blacklegged tick.
According to the Vermont Department of Health blacklegged ticks are found throughout Vermont.They transmit Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Powassan virus disease, and Borrelia miyamotoi disease. The ticks's main hosts are white-footed mouse, deer mouse, chipmunks, shrews, white-tailed deer.
"Blacklegged tick activity fluctuates throughout the year. After laying low during the cold winter months, these ticks usually become active in late March or early April. Their peak activity typically occurs in May and June when nymphal ticks are looking for a host. Tick activity increases once again in October and November when adult ticks are looking for another host before cold winter temperatures set in once again."
According to data collected by Department of Health the number of emergency room visits due to tick encounters increased 4-fold in the week ending April 28, 2018 compared to the prior week. The historical maximum for tick-related E.R. visits in Vermont occurs in between mid-May and early June when 2 percent of all E.R. visits occur because of ticks.
Dartmouth biology professor Matt Ayers spoke recently on Vermont Public Radio. He said that the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control found that the number of people getting diseases from ticks and mosquitoes in the United States more than tripled from 2004 to 2016. In Vermont the increase was even higher for Lyme disease. The number of cases reported annually jumped from 100 in 2006 to 500 in 2016. in the state. Here is a sobering thought. According to Ayers scientists don't really know why there are more ticks or why more ticks are carrying diseases. Click here for the VPR newscast