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Warmer weather in Indiana brings out the ticks

Several species of ticks found in Indiana present health dangers including the blacklegged tick – also known as the deer tick.
Scott Bauer/USDA
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Several species of ticks found in Indiana present health dangers including the blacklegged tick – also known as the deer tick.

Indiana health officials say the recent warmer weather could mean more encounters with ticks across the state.

Lee Green, senior medical entomologist with the Indiana State Department of Health, said there are several species of ticks found in Indiana that present health dangers including the blacklegged tick – also known as the deer tick.

“It's most prevalent in northern Indiana especially northwest but can also be found in larger numbers clear throughout the western half of the state and all over the southern third of the state,” Green said.

The lone star tick and the American dog tick are also commonly found in Indiana and can transmit disease.

The number of tick-borne disease cases in the U.S. like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever has more than doubled in the last 13 years, according to a 2018 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ticks are usually found in brushy or wooded areas. And if you do find a tick attached, it's important to remove it properly.

“The proper way to remove a tick is to get a pair of tweezers or a piece of tissue if you don’t have tweezers available and grab that tick as close to the skin as you can possibly get,” Green said.

Green said it’s important to thoroughly check for ticks on clothing, gear, pets, and skin after outdoor exposure. He recommends applying a repellent with DEET or Picaridin.

Contact WFYI Morning Edition newscaster and reporter Taylor Bennett at tbennett@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @TaylorB2213.

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