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Be on the watch for ticks!

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist

Jeffrey Hahn, University of Minnesota

Photo 1: Adult female blacklegged tick. This tick is a potential vector of Lyme disease.

As the amount of time we spend outside increases, be aware that ticks are also active now. There are two common species of ticks in Minnesota, the blacklegged tick (also known as deer tick) and the American dog tick (also called wood tick). While the American dog tick is mostly a nuisance, the blacklegged tick can potentially vector diseases to people, especially Lyme disease.

Take precautions when outdoors, especially in areas where ticks are known to occur. Use repellents, especially DEET to protect against ticks. Also check yourself over carefully after being outdoors for any ticks that may have found you. Remember that a tick has to be biting to be able to transmit a disease; if it is unattached it cannot vector a disease

Jeffrey Hahn, University of Minnesota

Photo 2: Adult female American dog tick. This tick is not an important vector of disease, it is primarily a nuisance

If any ticks are found, it is important that they are correctly identified because blacklegged ticks are important disease vectors while American dog ticks are not. Color and size are not always dependable when identifying ticks and it may be necessary to have specimens identified by an expert.

Click here for more information on ticks and their control. You can also find information about tick diseases here.

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