State health officials are expecting greater numbers of Lyme disease-carrying ticks this summer, after a lull last year.
The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed about 911 cases of Lyme disease last summer -- the fewest in a decade. Besides Lyme disease, the ticks also carry four other diseases.
The deer ticks, also known as black-legged ticks, will be out in full force over the next few weeks, said David Neitzel of the state health department.
Fewer deer ticks were out last year, likely because of the dry weather, Neitzel said. They're most common in east-central Minnesota, but can be found in any wooded area in the state, he said.
"In recent years we've been able to find these ticks all the way to the Minnesota-Ontario border and the Minnesota-Manitoba border," Neitzel said. "They're getting all the way up to the edge of northern Minnesota now."
Neitzel recommends using bug repellant with up to 30 percent DEET to protect against ticks.
"For people who spend a lot of time in the woods, we recommend repellents that contain permethrin," he said.
East-central Minnesota is particularly bad for ticks, Neitzel said, but they can be found all over the state.