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After a wet spring and an anticipated warm summer, ticks will run rampant across the state

Both population & activity will be above normal
Posted at 5:11 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 19:39:12-04

It is almost summer, but experts have a warning for anyone looking to get outside.

After an unusually warm winter and the continued wetter-than-normal stretch, tick populations are expected to explode across West Michigan.

It is more important than ever to be aware of your surroundings and to know what to do if a tick gets on you or bites you.

For more on keeping you and your family safe, we spoke to GVSU Professor James Dunn, who has a Ph.D in entomology, the study of insects.

James says that if you are going to go outside into nature, stay on trails and away from vegetation. Brush, grass and plants are where ticks are located. They will jump onto your body if you get too close.

If you want to be able to play in the grass and in the woods, it is recommended that you wear pants that cover all skin. It is also recommended that you tuck your pants into your socks and wear a bug repellent. Check yourself thoroughly every time you get home after being in vegetation, as ticks can be extremely small.

"The ticks right now are about the size of a sesame seed." says James Dunn. "The are not like the big, honking ticks that we see later in the season. So you have to look very carefully to make sure you find them."

If you find one and pull it out immediately, the good news is that odds are you will not have contracted anything from the tick. According to James, research has shown that it takes 24 to 48 hours before those ticks can transmit a disease to you.

If you believe you have been bitten and begin to show flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, call your doctor immediately and get checked, because catching a disease such as lyme disease early is imperative to your health.