Be careful outdoors this summer, experts at the University of Minnesota are predicting a bad summer for the creepy crawlers. Jon Oliver with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health did an online Q&A answering questions about what we can expect to see when it comes to the upcoming tick season in our state.

When asked if there would be a lot of ticks this year, Oliver's response let us know that is weather dependant:

2021 is shaping up to be a bad year for ticks but this may change due to ongoing dry weather. A lot of adult deer ticks were active early in the spring and this may correspond to high levels of activity among the very small immature ticks. On the other hand, dry weather and drought conditions will limit tick activity and reduce population numbers, especially for deer ticks.

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Oliver shared that the two most common tick types are deer ticks and American dog ticks (aka wood ticks). Both species can transmit disease and bacteria to the person or animal they bite, but deer ticks are more often infected with the bacteria that leads to Lyme disease.

What can we do to prevent ticks this year in Minnesota? The best thing to do is routinely check yourself and other people and pets for ticks after spending time outdoors. Especially if that time was spent in heavily wooded areas or tall grass. Insect repellents that contain deet are also great for repelling ticks.

When it comes to removing a tick, there is a right way to do it. Here is what WebMD recommends:

  1. Clean the area around the tick bite with rubbing alcohol.
  2. Get your tweezers right down on your skin so you can grab as close as possible to the tick’s head.
  3. Pull up slow and firm. Don’t jerk or twist; a nice, steady pressure straight up will do.
  4. Clean the bite area again, and your hands, with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

Here's to a tick-free summer in Minnesota!

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