Now that spring is here, Berkshire residents want to get outside more and enjoy the natural beauty that our county has to offer. There are so many outdoor activities to experience including hiking, swimming, walking, outdoor yoga, outdoor concerts, and the list goes on and on as you well know. Plus, the warm weather brings along the traditional outdoor chores including mowing, weed whacking, pruning, outside carpentry work etc. One thing you want to be careful of is the tick population. It seems like every year, we get slammed with more of them than the previous year. Maybe it just looks that way but nevertheless they are around and in some places they run rampant.

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Another excellent, local Facebook group that you may want to check out is Southern Berkshire Weather/Emergency Reports. This group is a gem for local information, weather, and some pretty cool photos. Speaking of photos, on of the group's members recently posted some photos of ticks located at Thomas and Palmer Brook in Great Barrington. Judging by the photos below, there's no question that the local tick population is mighty.

Mighty Tick Population at Thomas & Palmer Brook, Great Barrington

One of the members of this group had the following to say about the ticks in this area:

I don’t know how bad the ticks are in your area, but this is in Great Barrington. And, I am personally finding that the ticks here are becoming less and less affected by even permethrin. And, I’m talking about clothing that was literally treated 15 minutes before contact with ticks. They just march right up my pants at an alarming pace. Please be careful out there.

If you're going to spend time outside, here are some safety tips for tick prevention courtesy of the CDC:

Know where to expect ticks

Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood.
Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. Alternatively, you can buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.

Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellentsexternal icon containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. EPA’s helpful search toolexternal icon can help you find the product that best suits your needs. Always follow product instructions. Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.

Avoid Contact with Ticks
Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
Walk in the center of trails.

You can never be too careful when it comes to tick prevention. You can get more tips especially after you come indoors, by going here.

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