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Tick Prevention (June, 2023)

Tick Prevention (June, 2023)

Tick Prevention

Key Facts

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS):

  • Michigan’s five most common ticks are the American dog tick, Blacklegged tick, Lone star tick, Woodchuck tick, Brown dog tick.
  • Ticks are closely related to insects and spiders, and there are over 20 known tick species in Michigan.
  • The bacterium Borrelia burgdorfericauses Lyme disease. The bacterium can be transmitted by the Blacklegged tick, if infected.

Taking Precautions to Avoid Ticks and Tick-borne Disease

Help protect yourself and your loved ones from tick-borne diseases by doing the following:

  • Avoid tick-infested areas
    • Because ticks live in grassy, brushy wooded areas, walk in the center of trails to avoid contact with overgrown grass, brush, and leaf litter at trail edges.
    • Be extra vigilant in warmer months (April – September) when ticks are most active.  However, ticks can be active anytime the temperature outside is warmer than 40° F.
    • Dogs and cats can encounter ticks outdoors and bring them into the home. Talk with your veterinarian about the best tick prevention products for your pet.
  • Use insect repellent
    • Apply repellent containing DEET or Picaridin on exposed skin.
    • Treat clothes (especially pants, socks, and shoes) with permethrin, which kills ticks on contact or buy clothes that are pre-treated. Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
    • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying repellents.
  • Perform daily tick checks
    • Wear light-colored clothing to make ticks easier to see.
    • Always check for ticks on yourself and your animals after being outdoors, even in your own yard.
    • Inspect all body surfaces carefully and remove attached ticks with tweezers.
      • To remove a tick, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as you can.
      • Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick.
  • Bathe or shower
    • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
    • Wash clothing in hot water and dry on high heat to help kill ticks in clothing.

If you do find a tick attached, be sure to remove it right away. Continue to monitor yourself or your loved ones for symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Joint aches

Quick Links

MDHHS | Ticks

MDHHS | Ticks and Your Health PDF

MDHHS | Michigan’s Five Most Common Ticks PDF

MDHHS | Lyme Disease

CDC | Ticks