Michigan Residents Watching For Ticks After Increase in Lyme Dis - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Michigan Residents Watching For Ticks After Increase in Lyme Disease Reports

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Ticks are a tiny carrier of disease, and this year they are very common in Northern Michigan.

Now a new study shows an alarming number of people are getting Lyme disease from them.

Ticks live in wooded areas, brushy undergrowth, and in grassy areas.  Lake Michigan shoreline is characteristic of good tick habitats.

The blacklegged tick can transmit Lyme disease and be carried on deer and rodents.

It is important to use personal protective measures when entering areas where ticks are known to live. 

Some tips to remember:

Wear light colored, or white, clothing to see ticks more easily. 

Wear long sleeves and pants that you can tuck into socks or boots.

Ticks are typically located near the ground, so wear close-toed shoes or boots and not sandals. 

Apply insect repellant such as DEET to closes and exposed skin.

When you exit the woods, perform a thorough tick check and remove attached ticks.

Embedded ticks should be removed using fine-tipped tweezers.  Grasp the tick firmly as close to the skin as possible and pull with steady motion and pressure. Do not be worried if the tick's mouthparts remain. Cleanse the area with soap.

DO NOT use petroleum jelly, hot match, nail polish, or other products to remove the tick. 

Transmission of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, B. burgdorferi, does not typically happen before 36 hours of infected tick attachment. 

Post-bite treatment it typically unnecessary.  If you develop any signs or symptoms of Lyme disease, seek medical attention.  Follow the link on Lyme disease for more information. 

Reducing leaf litter, removing brush- and wood-piles from around you home and yard will help minimize the number of ticks in residential areas. 

For more information, follow the link above.