State officials say that recent warm, wet weather will likely lead to more ticks and mosquitoes this summer.
Experts are particularly worried now about ticks that can transmit several diseases, said epidemiologist Dave Neitzel of the Minnesota Department of Health. Some can be very small.
"It's a little blackish-brown spot about 1 milimeter in length and very hard if not impossible for many people to see," Neitzel said. "So we urge folks to use a good repellent to keep the ticks off in the first place -- either repellents containing DEET or, even more effective, repellents containing permethrin. If you apply that to your clothing, you can keep the ticks off of you for several weeks."
Mosquitoes pose the highest risk for disease transmission in late summer, he said, adding that anyone who develops a rash or fever after being in the woods should see a doctor.
"Early summer, think ticks," he said, "late summer, think mosquitoes as far disease risk."