I don't know about you, but I was happy this past winter was fairly mild compared to what we usually get.

Well, it turns out that Michigan's relatively warm winter has raised concerns among experts that the state may experience a more severe tick season this year.

Close Up Of An Adult Female An Adult Male Nymph And Larva Tick Is Shown June 15 2001
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Ticks are significant carriers of pathogens causing human and animal diseases, thrive in warmer temperatures, and the mild winter conditions could have allowed for higher survival rates of tick eggs and larvae.

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A study published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution found that moose in Northern Michigan have more ticks during winters following particularly warm summers.

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The research, conducted over 19 years at Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park, suggests that climate change may lead to worse tick infestations. Higher temperatures are believed to quicken the development of tick eggs, increasing the number that survive to hatch.

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This is concerning because ticks are transmitters for various diseases, including Lyme disease, which is the most common tick-borne disease in Michigan.

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Ticks In Michigan

The life cycle of winter ticks begins in June when females lay thousands of eggs in the soil.

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These eggs hatch a few months later, and the larvae wait on vegetation for hosts like moose or deer to pass by.

If the ground remains dry, female ticks can survive after detaching from their hosts and lay eggs to start the next generation.

Milder winters can extend the period when ticks are active, increasing the risk of disease transmission to humans and animals.

What Ticks Are Found In Michigan?

Michigan's five most common ticks include the American dog tick, Lone star tick, Woodchuck tick, Brown dog tick, and Blacklegged tick.

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These ticks are active from early May to November and are found in forests and grassy areas throughout the state.

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The diseases associated with these ticks, although rare in Michigan, can include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, ehrlichiosis, and Lyme disease.

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How To Protect Yourself From Ticks In Michigan

To prevent tick bites and the potential transmission of tick-borne diseases, experts recommend using insect repellents containing no more than 30 percent DEET, applying permethrin on clothing, and conducting thorough checks for ticks after spending time outdoors.

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If bitten, it is crucial to remove the tick as soon as possible and to seek medical attention if symptoms of tick-borne diseases appear.

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Follow those preventive steps and you should still be able to have a great time enjoying all that Michigan's outdoors has to offer.

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