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Summer heat sends ticks for cover, but they shall return


Thanks to the recent heat wave in the Northwest, millions of ticks have gone listless to stay alive. High temperatures forced the arachnid’s biological processes into slow mode, similar to hibernation in bears during winter, said Glen Scoles, a tick expert with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Research Unit at Washington State University.

While humans can escape the heat by donning fewer clothes, jumping in water and turning on air conditioners, ticks are driven into a physiological state called aestivation, characterized by stillness and a lowered metabolic rate, said Scoles, an entomologist who has studied the parasite for 18 years.

“During hot, dry weather, man...

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