Erie County health officials offer tick advice

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jun 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-07 18:09:26-04

It's a beautiful day for a walk through Delaware Park in Buffalo. But, dog owners like Elena Johnson aren't exactly carefree. “Usually I let him go off leash and venture. I'm nervous to do that now.”

Why? One reason: ticks. “I didn't worry about them until this year. I heard they're really bad this year and people are getting sick from them.”

Erie County hasn't received a single tick complaint in Delaware Park. But, much like the national trends, the county is seeing an uptick in the insects. Officials said it's something they were anticipating because of the mild winters of the past few years. 

Pete Tripi is with the Erie County Health Department. He said the county won't use pesticides to kill ticks. But, there are ways to protect yourself. Wear deet, and avoid areas with tall grass or wooded brush where ticks can hide. “Ticks will breed in them. That wet, leafy litter is where they like to lay their eggs. They lay dormant and then they hatch out when the temps are right.”

The County doesn’t track the locations of tick complaints unless one tests positive for Lyme disease. So, Tripi couldn't say exactly where they're most prevalent. Although officials said they're in every corner of the county. So it's best to be aware of your surroundings.