It’s tick season again

Published 7:56 am Wednesday, April 25, 2018

By Solvejg Wastvedt

MPR News/90.1 FM

Minnesota’s tick season has already begun, and experts say the parasites are hungry after a long winter.

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“We found our first deer ticks of the year April 12. Then we had that huge snowstorm and they relaxed for a while, but we’re seeing them again this week,” Metropolitan Mosquito Control District tick specialist Janet Jarnefeld said.

The year’s heavy snowfall actually helped tick populations by insulating their winter habitat, Jarnefeld said.

So how to deal with the pests? Here are Jarnefeld’s tips to prevent tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease:

• When outdoors, wear light-colored clothing and tuck jeans into socks to make it easier to spot ticks.

• Apply repellent spray to clothing, not directly to skin.

• Do a “tick check” after coming back inside. Ticks need to stay attached for about two days to spread Lyme disease, but periods as short as five minutes can cause other infections, Jarnefeld said.

• To control ticks at home, mow target areas twice a week and spray with a product containing permethrin.