Summer in West Michigan mean more time outdoors. Time to bike.  Time to camp.  And time to protect your family against ticks and Lyme disease.

Lyme disease has been reported in 43 states, including Michigan.  Reports of ticks and Lyme disease are increasing in West Michigan.

WZZM has more:

It's a new trend in Michigan according to Ned Walker, Entomologist at MSU. He says Lyme disease-carrying ticks are moving into new regions.

"Within the last five or six years it swept all the way up the state and into Sleeping Bear Dunes, it's slowly moving east to Ottawa County and Kent County. It's now endemic for that tick and the disease," says Walker.

This year's wet spring means dense foliage, and plenty of places for the tick to hide.

What's the best way to protect yourself and your family?  Michigan.gov explains:

  • Wear light colored clothing so ticks can be spotted more easily, and removed before attachment
  • Wearing long sleeved shirts and pants tucked into socks or boot tops can be helpful in keeping ticks from reaching your skin
  • Ticks are usually located close to the ground, so boots or shoes and not sandals, are recommended
  • Applying insect repellants such as DEET (n,n-diethyl-m toluamide) to clothes and exposed skin, and applying Permethrin (which kills ticks on contact) to clothes can reduce the risk of tick attachment

Identify ticks with some pictures of ticks commonly found in Michigan.

Fine-tipped tweezers are recommended for removing ticks.  Get detailed tick removal instructions.

Learn to identify Lyme disease.

Have a fun summer and protect yourself from Lyme disease!

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