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Ticks in Michigan
Capable of spreading dangerous diseases such as tularemia and Lyme disease, ticks are one of the most concerning pests to encounter. Known for latching onto both people and pets for a bloodmeal, proper tick prevention is essential for personal health and wellbeing. Ticks are most active outdoors during warmer months and can be found across the country, including in Michigan.
List of Common Types of Ticks in Michigan
Out of more than 20 different tick species identified in Michigan, there are four in particular that state residents should look out for:
When is Tick Season in Michigan?
Michigan tick season generally runs from April to September when the weather is warm.
Are Ticks “Bad” in Michigan?
Due in part to Michigan’s relatively temperate climate, ticks are able to live and spread easily throughout the state. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, more than 80% of the state’s counties are potentially at risk for Lyme disease due to the presence of blacklegged ticks.
In order to reduce tick encounters and protect against these vector pests, there are a number of precautions you can take when spending time outdoors.
- Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes to help keep ticks from latching onto your skin. Additionally, light colored clothing can make spotting ticks easier.
- Tick identification in Michigan is key. Knowing how to differentiate ticks from other pests can help you understand what next steps are necessary to take regarding tick removal.
- When hiking or walking through wooded areas, stay in the center of trails and away from vegetation where ticks could be waiting for hosts to pass close by.
- After spending time outdoors, especially if you’ve been in wooded areas or near tall grass, carefully inspect yourself, family members and pets for ticks. Ticks can be quite small, so a thorough visual inspection is key.
- When outdoors, wear insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET to keep ticks away.
What to Do If You Are Bitten by a Tick
If you do happen to find a tick on yourself, a family member or a pet, you can follow a few simple steps to successfully remove it:
- First, gently pull back any hair from around the tick to expose the skin near the bite.
- Locate the head of the tick, grasp it as close to the skin as possible using fine-tipped tweezers and gently squeeze. Don’t grab the tick’s body, as this can increase the chance of injecting the tick’s blood into the skin.
- Next, pull outward in a straight motion until the head comes out of the skin. Don’t twist or wiggle the tick, as that could tear the head off and leave it embedded in the skin.
- Once removed, clean the bite area and your hands with soap and water. Flush the tick down the toilet or wrap it tightly in a tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle.
If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor and be sure to tell them about the tick bite.
Contact a Tick Exterminator in Michigan Today
Tick bites can have serious health consequences for humans as well as pets. If you encounter ticks inside the home, have questions regarding Michigan tick season or tick identification, or you discover an infestation elsewhere on your property, contact a licensed pest control professional. Enter your zip code into the search bar below for a verified list of local professionals, who can provide expert solutions and insights.