Get ready, Michigan. Experts warn that tick season in our state could be worse than normal.

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Ticks have long been associated with states on the east coast, while the insects are relatively new to us here in the Mitten State. Howard Russell is an entomologist at Michigan State University. He tells WXYZ-TV that ticks were practically unheard of in Michigan up until about 15 years ago.

“Michiganders are still getting used to ticks,” Russell says. "We’ve just been lucky here in the Lower Peninsula until the last 15 years. We’ve had very few ticks."

Russell says we've recently seen a dramatic increase in deer ticks, the ones that cause Lyme disease.

He goes on to say that more ticks are being spotted as the weather starts to get warmer. Other experts say climate change means Michigan will see an increase in the number of ticks we see this year.

A Little Anecdotal Evidence

My daughter-in-law posted this warning on Facebook about 10 days ago, illustrating that ticks are already showing up here in Michigan.

"PSA... Charleigh was playing in the woods this afternoon and came in itching. We pulled a tick off her back....they are already at it. Check your kiddos!!!"

 

Prevention is the Best Medicine

Russell says that people have been using repellents to keep their dogs safe from ticks for a long time and now it's just as important to use repellents that are safe for adults and children. He also says that tick inspections are vital.

“Conduct very thorough tick inspections at the end of the day. Check the kids out, check yourselves out and remove them when you find them. I recommend tweezers — grab it where it’s attached to the skin and pull it off,” he said.

 

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