Sunday, October 16, 2011

Something to Think About

(Click here for photo credit)

For many people, autumn is hands down their favorite season of the year. What's not to love about the sudden, intense burst of color--reds, yellows and oranges everywhere? After a blisteringly hot summer, the crisp, cool air of fall is a welcome sigh of relief.

When it comes to fall, people think about jumping in leaves, eating pumpkin pie, carving jack-o-lanterns, Halloween, Thanksgiving, warm cider--you know, the good things in life! There's one thing, though, that most people don't think about when it comes to autumn: Lyme disease.

According to David Simser, an entomologist with the Cape Cod, Massachusetts Cooperative Extension, "The adult deer ticks present in autumn are much more likely to be infected with Lyme disease than the younger nymphs prevalent during the peak months of May and June. That's because an adult tick has already feasted on more blood than a nymph, he said, which increases the probability it has picked up Borrelia burgdorferi, or Lyme disease's bacterial culprit."

One place most people don't think about that ticks love to hide out: leaf litter. Who--especially children--doesn't love to jump in a big pile of leaves? You may want to think twice about letting your child jump into that pile of leaves. Make sure to check your child (and yourself) very thoroughly after playing outdoors.

If you do find an attached tick, knowing the proper way to remove it is essential. If incorrectly removed, the tick is likely to expel its bacteria into its host, discrediting the myth that a tick has to be attached for a certain amount of time before it can transmit Lyme disease.  Check out this site for instructions on how to properly remove a tick.


  1. Fall has always been my favorite time of year and now that I know what yourshared here and also what my LLMD says about the spirochetes coming out of hiding, giving off pheromones and attempting to lure ticks for recreation...I am having a hard time with fall! The last two falls I ahve felt horrid for several weeks and wonder if this is why. Anyway, I am enjoying fall very much ~ but from my recliner or the porch! No leaves or grass for me!
    This is a good reminder, Alyson...for all of us.

  2. My bite in 1985 was in the fall. And other reinfections, too, in October months. Any time you get a "fall flu" you should suspect Lyme Disease. I'm not saying that it is always Lyme, but you need to consider it. All of us do. Thanks for the great post!