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Michigan sees growing population of ticks

Ticks are on the rise in Michigan right now

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A tick rests on a finger.

In this March 24, 2017, photo, a tick is displayed in Plainville, Mass. A late-summer drought virtually eliminated ticks in parts of New England but they’re back with a vengeance this spring.

Paul Connors, The Sun Chronicle via The Associated Press

The state of Michigan is seeing a spike in its tick population as the summer nears, and experts are worried more people might get sick from the insects.

Rise of ticks in Michigan

Experts in the Kent County Health Department of Grand Rapids, Michigan, said there has been an uptick in the tick population — which could lead to more diseases for people, including Lyme disease, NBC affiliate WOOD-TV reports.

Paul Bellamy, an epidemiologist for the health department’s environmental division, told WOOD-TV that the weather has led to the rise in ticks there.

  • “One of which being milder weather conditions, animal migration patterns. This being the case for not only deer and such but also birds. These things can greatly impact the amount of population you see throughout the year,” he told WOOD-TV.

Why there might be more ticks this year

The rise of ticks might mean even more in the summer of 2021 because there has been a lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, which means more people will be outside, according to WMC Action News, a news station in Memphis, Tennessee.

  • “This will increase the chances of people to come in contact with ticks,” per WMC Action News.

What happens if you get bit by a tick?

Ticks can lead to a number of diseases and issues, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has plenty of information about those diseases.

  • Lyme disease tends to be the most common, which leads to a giant red rash on your body. Symptoms often include “fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system,” according to the CDC.

What should you do if you get bit by a tick?

You’ll notice that there might be a freckle or speck of dirt on you. That could be a tick.

  • “If you do find it attached the best thing to do is to take tweezers, get as close to the skin as possible and pull straight up and remove it that way,” Bellamy told WOOD-TV.