Tick populations and the prevalence of Lyme disease are on the rise as we head into summer 2021.

Every summer we take the good with the bad. Summer brings with it great weather and fun to Upstate New York. But unfortunately, it brings the creepy-crawly return of the tick population. So far this year, tick numbers are experiencing an "explosion" according to a New York Upstate report. Ticks being sent to the New York state testing lab more than tripled in May of 2021 versus May of 2020. To make matter worse, the presence of Lyme in tested ticks has also climbed from just over 22 percent in the first 5 months of 2020 to 37 percent in the same time period this year. More ticks and a higher percentage carrying Lyme is not a good combination.

And oh yeah, there is one more wrinkle. New York Upstate says the white-footed mouse, which is a favorite tick host, took a population hit this year. So fewer mice mean more ticks looking for other hosts like you and me!

Now here is the good news. It seems every couple of years we hear about the tick population blowing up, but the same best practices apply to protect yourself from ticks and Lyme disease. Cover up when you out enjoying the great outdoors and the pop on Brad Paisley's 'Ticks' when you get home and give yourself a good once over to make sure one of these pesky bloodsuckers did not hitch a ride on you! And if a tick does latch on, you can always visit the CDC website for info on how to remove it and more info on Lyme disease.

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To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

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Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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