LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy a warm summer, think again. This year, experts are warning that the mild winter and rising summer temperatures have extended Michigan’s tick season, bringing these pests out in full force as early as March, well before their typical peak.

The combination of moderate winters and warm summers is a ticking time bomb: mild winters fail to effectively curb tick populations, allowing more of them to survive and thrive. Additionally, the increasing summer heat accelerates their life cycle, leading to earlier activity in the spring.

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With the extended season, the risk of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease also increases. These little blood bandits can transmit bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause serious health issues in humans and pets, making it crucial for Michigan residents to be vigilant as their early arrival means a longer period of potential exposure.

Home to more than 20 tick species, Michigan in particular, faces risks of dangerous infections such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, deer-tick virus, and anaplasmosis, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The agriculture sector feels the bite too. Livestock are prime targets for ticks, which can lead to decreased productivity. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, tick infestations in livestock can result in significant economic losses due to reduced weight gain and milk production.

While we cannot control the weather, there are steps individuals can take to outsmart these tiny bloodsuckers. Avoiding tall grass and fallen leaves, keeping lawns well-trimmed, and applying tick repellent can help reduce tick populations. 

In the meantime, stay savvy and keep those ticks at bay. With the right precautions, individuals can enjoy the great outdoors without these uninvited guests crashing the party.