Winter Didn’t Kill Them, Minnesota Is Seeing More Ticks
One thing I thought that this never-ending polar-vortex bringing winter would do, didn't happen apparently. I figured the sub-zero temps, and mountains of snow would have killed a ton of ticks. It didn't happen. And after spending part of the weekend picking them off myself and the dog, I'm starting to realize there seem to be more than usual. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, there are more, and that means more cases of Lyme disease.
In this months Minnesota Conservation Volunteer publication from the DNR states that: "Lyme disease in Minnesota is on the rise. In the past five years, the state has averaged more than 1,200 reported cases a year, up from fewer than 300 two decades ago."
With the Health Department's most recent field survey indicating that there are more deer ticks now compared to this time last year, it's not a bad idea to put on some bug spray containing DEET to attempt to keep the ticks off of you. We are at the beginning of the worst months for Lyme disease as May, June, and July are typically the worst months for getting Lyme due to exposure from ticks.
Oh and if having more ticks around wasn't bad enough it's also expected to be a bad year for mosquitoes too, and that raises the risk of West Nile virus, especially later this summer.
Don't mind me I'll just stay indoors all year round now.