Northern Minnesota tick and mosquito outlook for the summer season
The wet conditions this spring have delayed deer tick emergence in northern Minnesota. However, the recent warm temperatures provided the ticks with a needed boost. That isn’t welcome news for residents and visitors to Cook County. As a result, the spring routine of daily tick checks has begun.
There are multiple species of ticks found in Minnesota, but the deer tick and the American dog tick (wood tick) are the most common. Of the two, the deer tick is the one of most concern. Deer ticks are often infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with Jon Oliver, assistant professor with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. His areas of expertise include vector-borne diseases, ticks, mosquitoes, and Lyme disease.
Oliver said, “The number of ticks has really increased. Additionally, we’ve seen increases over time in the proportion of ticks that are infected with Lyme disease.”
To help manage and combat Lyme disease, Oliver suggests that individuals conduct daily tick checks. Oliver explained that Lyme disease symptoms could occur quickly. He said, “they start to transmit diseases within about 24 hours of biting.”
While the wet conditions this spring may have initially delayed deer tick populations. Oliver can’t say the same for mosquito populations. Unfortunately, mosquitoes thrive in wet conditions.
Oliver explains that northern Minnesotans might be in for a grueling summer season. “It looks like it’s shaping up to be that kind of summer, you know, especially if we maintain high levels of precipitation.”
Listen to the full interview and Oliver’s projections for the summer ahead in the audio below.