The tick population is booming in Michigan, so be safe out there. Cover up, use DEET and check yo'self before a tick wrecks yo'self!

The dreaded little pests are back for another season of tick bites and potentially Lyme Disease.

Ticks are more prevalent along the Lake Michigan shoreline than any other place in the state, although all counties have them. Kent, Ottawa and Allegan County all have HUGE tick populations, and that means higher risk of Lyme Disease.

Michigan DNR
Michigan DNR

"There are over 20 known tick species in Michigan," the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services warns. "Not all ticks carry diseases, but tick-related diseases do occur in Michigan, and can be serious or fatal if not properly diagnosed and treated."

Tick populations are scheduled to 'explode' this summer, so be safe, and the best way to be safe is to cover up.

If you're planning a hike in the woods, where long sleeved shirts and long pants with thick socks. It sounds uncomfortable, but so is Lyme Disease.

Also keep in mind, while you're most likely to encounter ticks in the deep woods, they also patrol areas adjacent to your lawn, so every time your kids go outside is tick checking time.

If you must show some skin, cover it with pest sprays, particularly those containing heavy amounts of DEET. Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective. If you want to go hard core, a chemical called peremethrin will stay on your clothes through several washings.

Make sure your pets are all tick protected so that they don't bring them into your house.

Michigan has five varieties of ticks that are prevalent, most of them are very small and could easily avoid detection, so be extra vigilant when examining your kids for the little buggers. And remember to check out of the way places on yourself when returning from the woods like your underarms and your butt crack (sorry, but it's one of their favorite places to hide) as ticks like moist environments.

A thorough shower after long periods of being outside helps.

To remove a tick, grasp the tick firmly and as closely to the skin as possible. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic.


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