Ticks are going to be a big problem for most the US this summer

Ticks, the nasty little parasitic bugs that attach to humans and animals alike, may be a bigger problem this summer than last year, according to various experts. Most of the United States has experienced weather that leads to a boom in tick populations, particularly the Midwest states where tick activity is above average.

Ticks are common across the US, but their activity levels each summer depend on the climate: if the winter was mild, spring started early, and lots of rain results in humidity, the tick population will skyrocket. The parasites attach to wildlife like deer and squirrels, as well as pets like dogs and cats. Likewise, ticks will also attach to humans.

According to the Weather Channel, the bottom half of the US is experiencing slightly above average tick activity, while the Pacific Northwest stretching over to Montana and Wyoming are experiencing average tick levels. However, the Midwest states are seeing above-average activity, meaning people all the way from the Dakotas to Ohio need to be extra vigilant when out in nature.

According to the report, some regions in the Midwest where ticks aren't usually found may end up dealing with the blood-sucking creatures this summer. The uptick in activity is a problem because the parasite can carry diseases, particularly Lyme disease, which can cause long-term impairment in some people.

In a Q&A on the 2021 tick season, the University of Minnesota noted that there are steps people can take to reduce their risk of getting ticks when in nature, including using insect repellents that have DEET as an ingredient. As well, because of the time it takes for diseases to be transmitted from ticks to their human host, the experts recommend checking yourself for ticks daily to remove them before they have a chance to hang around too long.