Locals Notice More Ticks; Many Northern Michigan Counties Have Known Risk of Lyme Disease

The population of ticks continues to rise across Michigan and with it so is the frequency of tick-borne diseases.

Lyme Disease is the most common and cases are on the rise in many Northern Michigan counties.

Charlevoix, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee, Mason and Oceana counties have seen local cases and ticks with Lyme bacteria.

“I don’t know what’s causing the increase but I think there are a lot more ticks in the area,” Mark Jarema, said.

Mark Jarema and his family have been coming to Pigeon River for decades, he’s noticed more of those pesky ticks every year.

“In the past five or six years the tick population has increased, when I was a kid we never worried about ticks,”

Elaine Jarema found one on her Sunday.

“I had some on my ankle, I thought it was a dead mosquito at first and I went to pull it and then it just started crawling along my leg and then I got it and flicked it out the door,” she explained.

Although not all ticks carry disease, the deer tick, about the size of a sesame seed,  are the ones you want to watch out for.

There are some things you can do to prevent a tick from latching on, including wearing long clothing making sure you spray yourself with insect repellent before you go out.

When you are hiking make sure you stay in the center of trails and away from the side, but most importantly you want to check yourself every time you leave the woods.

Matthew Ogden went for a hike with his family Sunday and Monday both times they brought back some unwelcome companions.

“Yesterday we came across about 6 ticks, i had two on me, my son had one, and a couple more,” said Ogden

“Growing up I never expected it, but yea the past five years, seems like every time I go out in the woods,” he, added.

If you do find a tick burrowed remove it fully and watch for any signs of illness or a rash.

Ticks will continue to be prevalent in Northern Michigan through the fall.

For more information about ticks and tick-borne diseases click here.

Katelyn Marshall found this tick on her dog in Frederic.