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MSU Professor: Lyme Disease Causing Deer Ticks Have Settled In Lansing Area

deer tick
Michigan State University

If you’re planning a walk through the woods this summer, scientists warn you to check for a species of tick invading Michigan that can cause major health issues. 

It’s known as the deer tick or black legged tick.. And during the summer it is tiny and hard to see.

“About the size of a sesame seed, but it can do a lot of damage," said Michigan State University entomology professor Ned Walker.

He said if a deer tick attaches to you for 24 hours, it can transmit Lyme disease, which can affect your joints or nervous system. He advised to check your legs after a walk in the woods.

“See if you got any ticks crawling up either your legs or your trouser legs," said Walker. 

Walker said you can prevent a bite before you go outside.

“Apply a repellant to the lower legs, including the clothing, it’s very effective," said Walker. "And there’s also good repellants and anti-tick agents that can be put on dogs, such as collars.”

tick on finger
Credit Michigan State University
Deer tick sizes provided by MSU. During the summer, it is in the nymph phase and is the size of a sesame seed.

He said the deer tick is no longer confined to Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“[The deer tick] has invaded upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan and has now even established in the Lansing area, some of the local wooded areas, parks and neighborhoods,” said Walker.

Walker says the deer tick is one of 15 species of ticks living in Michigan.

Click here for more information on the deer tick from Michigan State University.

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