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Tick Season is Back with a Vengeance


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Illustration by Gary Hovland

Minnesota’s heavy snowfall brings snowplows, epic low temperatures and, recently, increased tick survival. This year’s snowy winter is predicted to have insulated blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced last week that there were a record number of cases of Lyme disease among Minnesotans in 2013. Ticks also present the risk of other diseases, which Jennifer Vogel explores in depth in our June issue. Here are some tips for avoiding becoming a bug’s feast:

1. For campers and cabin-goers: Be wary when you are in a wooded or brushy space, which is prime tick habitat.

2. Buy a permethrin-based repellent to pre-treat fabric or a deet-based repellent for your clothes and skin. You can find options such as OFF! Deep Woods Sportsmen Insect Repellent at Dick’s Sporting Goods, grocery stores, or pharmacies.

3. If your property is heavily wooded, make sure to frequently mow your lawn, get rid of leaves and brush, and use rocks or wood chips to separate your lawn.

4. Whenever you spend time outside, it’s safest to wear long-sleeved clothing and always check your body for ticks. Common areas for the tiny creatures to attach themselves are the hairline and behind the ears.

Read more from the Minnesota Department of Health.

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