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Oh, tick! Michiganders likely to find more ticks this summer

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John Tann
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FLCKR: HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Heading into the warmer months, Michiganders are likely to continue seeing an increase in ticks throughout the state as different types continue to spread.

As Michigan’s climate becomes warmer, ticks are likely to thrive in the warm, humid weather. Though they are currently most common in Western Michigan, variations are found throughout the state and experts say people should take precautions regardless of region.

This year may be particularly bad, but not only because of the summer climate. Michigan’s most recent fall weather was particularly conducive for nut-producing trees, meaning animals that often serve as hosts for ticks are likely thriving and assisting the tick population’s growth.

Despite their common appearance in Michigan today, ticks are relatively new to the state, with some areas only having less than two decades of experience with the pests.

Black-legged ticks, sometimes referred to as deer ticks, cause Lyme disease and are found throughout Michigan after spreading in the state years ago. Lone star ticks are now spreading as well, and can have abnormal side effects, including spurring a meat allergy. The American dog tick is also present in the state.

To prevent negative health outcomes, experts recommend using repellant and checking for ticks when spending time outdoors, particularly in wooded areas, in the summer months. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also provides information on preventing tick bites and how to remove a tick correctly.

Emma Ruberg joined Michigan Radio in January as the Digital News Intern. She recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a double major in political science and communications and previously worked as a Senior News Editor for The Michigan Daily covering government and public safety.
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