It’s A Bad Year For Ticks In Michigan, Here’s What You Need To Know
This summer could be the worse tick season in years for Michigan. In three trips up north to hike, I've pulled over six ticks off me, and that's AFTER using a spray containing DEET.
Health experts say from May to July, people will get more tick bites than any other time. But because of two warm winters in a row and a record harvest of acorn, this could be a particularly bad year. Acorn is a favorite food of mice in the wild and mice carry ticks.
What has been surprising in Michigan has been an increase in the number of ticks associating with carrying Lyme Disease.
Lyme disease cases are on the rise and other, sometimes fatal, diseases are also re-emerging.
Doctors warn to wear tick-repellent clothing and to avoid areas where they may be present. They also suggest these tips:
- Use repellent with 20 percent DEET or more (personally, I would jack that up to about 50 percent if you're headed into the deep woods, Deep Woods OFF! which as a 25 percent DEET mixture did little to stop ticks from getting on me.)
- Do body checks
- Cut the grass short
- Put clothes in the dryer for ten minutes; the heat will kill any ticks
How to remove a tick:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers
- Put tweezers at the base of the tick, where the head is
- Pull upward
- Clean area with rubbing alcohol
No, you cannot BURN the tick off. Pull it off.
And save the tick after you pull it off (and kill it!!) in a plastic baggie. Being able to identify the tick that bit you could play a huge role in treating you if you get sick.
There is a Tick Encounter Resource Center online, and the State of Michigan has a tick testing site, both are very helpful in helping identify ticks and letting you know which ones may be harmful.
Adult ticks are easy to find, but the smaller nymph ticks are equally as infectious. Here's how small they are compared to an adult tick.
To put your mind a little at ease, most ticks are harmless, but it's important an any case to get them off of you as quickly as possible. If you're an outdoors person, scan yourself and your children for ticks often.