Over the course of the years I have found myself more and more stumped and fascinated (as well as revolted) by the sheer number of tick encounters that I've had in the Pine Barrens. I long assumed that the concentration of ticks was not greater in the Pines, but that they were questing differently. After some contemplation and a horrible experience this summer, I'm leaning toward there being far and away more ticks in the Pines than other areas. I'm wondering a few things: first, are there really more ticks now than there were before? It seems to me that when I was a kid and exploring the Pines, that I'd get numbers of dog ticks but not blacklegged. Were the blacklegged ticks here? Second and most importantly, why are there so many more ticks (or at least tick encounters) here than elsewhere in NJ, and how is their ecology different here than elsewhere (if it is)? Thanks so much for helping me to understand this!