Do milder winters mean Lyme disease season lasts all year?

The lack of snow cover and mild winter weather that has people trading in snowshoes and skis for hiking boots, and shovels for gardening rakes, is also increasing their exposure to Lyme disease year-round, scientists say.

“We have had weather conditions very conducive for exposure risk,” says Larry Dapsis, an entomologist in Massachusetts who has produced a series of videos on ticks and tick-borne disease prevention.

The deer ticks that cause Lyme and other diseases are active when temperatures hit 40 degrees, or maybe even a bit lower, Dapsis says.

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Photo by Getty Images & Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University