There is a continuing threat of ticks and the danger of the diseases they carry notes that Stephen Rich, microbiology. His tick testing lab recently had to increase prices for having ticks tested for diseases due to an expiration of the grants that helped subsidize the costs.
Extension on the Cape & Islands
About Cape Cod and the Islands:
The Cape Cod region of Massachusetts is composed of Barnstable County, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The largest town in the region is Barnstable.
Call it what you will: lack of food, food scarcity, food insecurity, or just plain hunger. The bottom line is that far too many people don’t have enough food to eat. When the pandemic arrived, food insecurity, already on the rise, took a distressing leap even further upward.
It’s not hard to imagine watching a news clip from Cape Cod as high tide combined with a hurricane deluge overtakes much of the peninsula. Homes are flooded, businesses lose merchandise and property is destroyed. This is not an imaginary scenario; floods are happening with greater frequency as the effects of climate change increase with each passing year.
Jimsonweed, an incredibly toxic plant, has sprouted up along the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth. University of Massachusetts Extension weed specialist Randy Prostak offers advice. (Falmouth News 8/21/20)
Nicholas Brazee, Extension plant pathologist, worked with the town of Falmouth to assess the health of an American elm tree. The tree was found to be 64 percent internally decayed and will be removed. (The Falmouth Enterprise, 12/20/19)
Lucas Griffin, postdoctoral researcher in environmental conservation, is quoted in an article about the increase in stranding of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles on Cape Cod. Griffin explains that warming sea water has led the turtles to migrate further north in the summer but the animals are not prepared for the cold winter that follows. (New York Times, 12/19/19; News Office release)
Backyard Horticulture is a class offered by the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, UMass Extension and the Master Gardeners’ Association of Cape Cod, in locations in Barnstable and Harwich. It’s an eight-week program, and it’s for gardeners of all levels. (Brewster Wicked Local 3/4/19)
There’s the Massachusetts that most of its almost 7 million residents know. And then there’s Cape Cod. The thing about Cape Cod is that it has a unique ecosystem quite different from that of the rest of the Commonwealth. The differences include fragile water supplies susceptible to contamination, serious beach erosion and seafood safety challenges. These very real issues raise questions that demand reliable answers and an educated public.
Ticks have a natural antifreeze system that helps them survive cold — even severe cold — weather. "Ticks lying underneath the snow pack could be larvae, nymphs or adults,” said Dr. Stephen Rich, a microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “Adults will be active as soon as the snow melts and temps warm,” he said. “Nymphs will follow in late May/June.” (Cape Cod Times 1/13/18)