Warmer weather draws out ticks

Many people who got out and enjoyed the warmer weather have encountered a pesky problem - ticks.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota say this year could be another bad one when it comes to ticks, and are encouraging people to take precautions.

“That is something that people can be aware of, it's not something that is coming, I mean it's already here,” said Jeff Hahn, an entomologist with the University of Minnesota Extension.

Hahn said the mild winters over the past few years are adding to the tick population. 

“Black-legged ticks are already out, believe or not, they can be active in temperatures in the 30s,” said Hahn. “I’ve already got some samples of black legged ticks. I’ve got people asking what they can do for ticks.”

Black-legged ticks are the ones that can transmit Lyme disease. Precautions include wearing repellant and doing a thorough check for ticks once you return from the woods or grassy areas.

“For Lyme disease, they have to be biting for about 24 hours,” Hahn said. “And so if you find one just crawling on you, and it's not biting on you, then you obviously get rid of it. You save yourself potential trouble later.”

Hahn said a dry summer would potentially cut down on tick population, as they thrive in more humid conditions.