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Tick tick tick

24 Jul 2019 | News Roundup

Purely anecdotal evidence suggests that we’re having a bad summer for ticks in Ontario. And the wretched things increasingly carry Lyme disease due, of course, to “climate change”. So that means ticks thrive in hot weather, right? Yes. Or, maybe no. They also like cool, wet weather. Either way it’s probably your fault.

The increasing risk is real. In Ottawa, the public health unit no longer even bothers to test the disgusting bug you just picked off your flesh. For the past few years, more than one fifth of the black-legged ticks tested locally, the kind that carry Lyme disease, showed positive at which point they simply declare the national capital an “at-risk” area and give everyone antibiotics.

Why has it gotten worse? Well, the National Post story says, until a decade ago most Canadians with Lyme disease were bitten in the U.S. “But climate change has led to southern Canada seeing milder winters, which means the ticks that migrate to Canada on the backs of migratory birds are now surviving the winter in larger numbers”. So warming makes the problem worse. But didn’t we just have a record-busting cold winter?

Er, yes. And the National Post story went on to say that while Canada saw 917 confirmed cases in 2017, the number plunged the following year to 612 because, the Post said on the authority of the Ottawa public health unit, "2018 was hotter and drier than 2017, and ticks thrive in wet, cool weather.”

Wait a second. Does that mean climate change is causing cool, wet weather? Or does it mean ticks don’t actually prefer warming? Well, let’s not quibble over details. The rule is that any change for the worse is, by definition, “climate change”, and when that phrase is invoked, we’re meant to hear “man-made climate change” and not ask any questions.

There are a lot of reasons ticks might be flourishing. But if they like wet, cool weather, don’t blame global warming. Unless you’re in the habit of blaming “climate change” for everything bad. Including how revolting ticks are.

One comment on “Tick tick tick”

  1. I wonder if any of the experts have considered the possibility that the increase in deer tick population has anything to do with the increase of the deer population. A USDA report cites the estimated North American white-tailed deer population is generally vastly higher now than at any time in the last 200 years and even higher than it likely was before European settlement of North America began at around 1500 (https://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/nwrc/publications/03pubs/verc033.pdf).

    The main climate change causing the increase in the deer population is the change in the hunting "climate". Hunting has become such a social taboo and so taxed and regulated by government that even those inclined to want to hunt don't bother. Delicate suburbanites also object to wolves ranging in their backyards, so naturally the 150 lb rodents flourish. Deer are a scourge to agriculture, a menace on the roadways, and they carry ticks. If you don't like ticks, take out the source.

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