Tick season started late, staying late

Black-legged ticks
Health Department epidemiologist Dave Neitzel shows off a black-legged tick in this 2011 file photo.
MPR Photo/Lorna Benson

The height of tick season has passed, but the Minnesota Department of Health says people should still take precautions to prevent tick bites over the next several weeks.

That's because Minnesota's tick season got a late start in this year due to the slow arrival of spring weather - a delay that means tick activity also shifted to a few weeks later than usual.

"You know, the snow took awhile to melt and because of that the ticks didn't come out in force until much later than normal. And for a while there in May, and especially into early June, people really noticed lots of ticks out and feeding because they were all kind of out at once," said Minnesota Department of Health epidemiologist Dave Neitzel. "There are still plenty of ticks out there feeding in the woods. So if people are out in wooded or brushy parts of Minnesota this weekend we recommend that they wear some good repellents."

Neitzel recommends keeping ticks away using the same repellents that are used against mosquitoes, containing permethrin.

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