Be on the Lookout for Ticks! NW Minnesota at High to Moderate Risk for Tickborne Disease
Ada, MN — Spend enough time outdoors this weekend and it’s very likely you’ll find a tick or two or three crawling around skin or clothing, especially if you spend time in tall grass or the woods. Along with being creepy, ticks have been known to spread disease, but not all of them do.The two most common types of ticks that people may come across in Minnesota are the blacklegged tick (aka deer tick), and the American dog tick (aka wood tick), according to Sarah Kjono of Norman-Mahnomen Public Health.
The blacklegged tick causes by far the most tickborne disease in Minnesota with lyme disease being the biggest concern.. Lyme disease is a potentially serious bacterial infection affecting both humans and animals. It is the most common tickborne disease reported in Minnesota and in the United States. Kjono discusses some of the signs and symptoms of lymes disease.
People in Minnesota are often bitten by American dog ticks but they rarely spread diseases. However, American dog ticks may spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Tick bites can also lead to an infection, so it’s recommended that you clean the area of the bite thoroughly. Kjono notes that because of our location, we could be at high risk for tickborne diseases.
Preventing exposure to ticks requires diligence. The Minnesota Department of Health recommends using repellent such as permethrin on your clothes, wearing long sleeves, pants, and high socks when in the woods or tall grass, checking your entire body for ticks, keeping your lawn and trails mowed short, and just be aware of when they are most active.
If you are concerned about a tick bite, please contact your local health provider to get it checked out.
Listen to the complete interview about ticks and mosquitos with Sarah Kjono of Norman-Mahnomen Public Health from Access Health Program below: