Michigan Ticks Are Going to Be Brutal This Year
I feel like every year around this time, we're telling you about how bad tick season is going to be. I wasn't even going to tackle the topic this time around because it feels like it's been pretty bad the past few years and we're kind of expecting it but after doing a little research I found out that ticks are already extremely bad this year and this is the reason why.
Why ticks are going to be out of control this year
It's believed tick populations are expanding and black-legged or deer ticks, which transmit the bacteria that carry Lyme disease, are migrating from the western side of the state to the eastern.
Jean Tsao, associate professor in Fisheries and Wildlife and Large Animal Critical Sciences at MSU says changing weather may have something to do with the tick overload. Milder winters bring a longer growing season, allowing ticks a longer time to find a host and then lay eggs.
Preventative measures you can take
If you're going to be in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas outside, just be aware that these are tick hotspots. So if you're walking your dog, camping or gardening, pay attention.
It's also a good idea to treat your clothes with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. Although, it's highly unlikely that you're going to do this when simply hiking or taking your dog for a walk.
When you come in from outside, check your clothing and pets for ticks. Also, shower as soon as you come in from outside and check every part of your body.
Last year I got a tick on the back of my leg while I was doing yard work. I didn't even know it was there until after I had already showered. I felt what I thought was a scab on the back of my leg but instead, it turned out to be a gross tick. Just writing about this is making me itch all over.