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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 8:41 AM
Updated: Jun 24, 2018 8:41 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35712

Reported Deaths: 2207
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10037594
Lake3806202
Allen174371
Cass15927
Elkhart143529
St. Joseph132035
Hamilton118094
Hendricks118074
Johnson1120110
Madison59761
Porter55329
Clark52841
Bartholomew52238
Howard43734
LaPorte43624
Tippecanoe4214
Shelby39822
Jackson3942
Delaware38740
Hancock34928
Floyd32140
Boone31835
Vanderburgh2902
Morgan28324
Noble25121
Montgomery24417
Clinton2401
White2389
Decatur23031
Grant22123
Dubois2053
Harrison19622
Henry18412
Vigo1758
Greene17125
Dearborn17021
Monroe17012
Warrick16728
Kosciusko1661
Lawrence16524
Marshall1472
Miami1411
Putnam1377
Orange13122
Jennings1314
Scott1223
Franklin1158
Ripley1086
LaGrange1022
Daviess9516
Carroll933
Steuben872
Wayne865
Wabash802
Fayette797
Newton7810
Jasper701
Jay530
Clay522
Washington511
Rush503
Randolph503
Fulton501
Pulaski490
Jefferson471
Whitley443
DeKalb431
Starke393
Sullivan371
Owen341
Perry340
Huntington342
Brown331
Benton320
Wells320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford240
Fountain222
Switzerland210
Spencer211
Adams201
Gibson182
Parke180
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin120
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0175
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