CLOSINGS: View Closings

Ticks invading Mid Michigan, bringing serious illnesses

New data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows ticks are working their way into Genesee, Sh...

Posted: Jun 24, 2018 7:41 AM
Updated: Jun 24, 2018 7:41 AM

New data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows ticks are working their way into Genesee, Shiawassee, Saginaw, Tuscola and Bay counties at an alarming rate.

Dr. Joe Hendricks at Briarwood Veterinary Hospital explained the number is increasing because we're being invaded by them from Ohio, Indiana and the west side of the state.

"We think of it as being a spring, summer and fall type problem; but, we have these weird warm winter days in March and in February where we will see ticks here at the clinic. Anything above 30 degrees, ticks can become active," he explained.

That's why Dr. Hendricks has his patients put their dogs and cats on tick and flea preventative medication year round.

He said, yes, ticks survive best in leafy, wooded areas, but they can also breed in your lawn. So, he encourages homeowners to keep the grass cut short and dispose of any leaf piles.

There are 20 types of ticks in the state, 5 of them are the most popular and a few of those carry Lyme disease. The disease creates flu-like symptoms in humans and their pets, before leading to joint pain and arthritis, among other problems.

If your pet has a tick it can't jump to you from your dog or cat; but, you need to remove it as soon as possible. You can use a tick key or tweezers.

So how do you protect yourself?

"Socks being sprayed with deet is a very very good deterrant against the ticks," Dr. Hendricks said. "But sitll, checking your own bodies, making sure you don't see any within 24 hours of being outside is important. Why? Because it takes 36-48 hours for these parasites to spread the Lyme disease. So if we can get them off immediately we're in much better shape."

If you'd like to know what tick you plucked off of yourself or your pet, you can freeze it in a ziploc and send it to the state health department to have it identified.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
29° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 20°
Albert Lea
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 24°
Austin
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 24°
Charles City
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 22°
Rochester
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 20°
Nice on Friday, weekend storm brewing
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Finding ways to save during the pandemic

Image

Churches prepare to celebrate Easter in non-traditional ways

Image

Mason City company switching to production of face shields

${item.thumbnail.title}

StormTeam 3: Snow is on the way, but how much?

Image

Options for breaking a car lease

Image

Sara's Daybreak Forecast - Friday

Image

Job outlook during pandemic may be less than desperate

Image

Hearts for Hope

Image

False negative tests raising red flags

Image

Make your own disinfectant wipes

Community Events