Controlling Ticks In Minnesota
High risk areas for tick exposure in Minnesota include the north central, east-central and southeastern regions of the state, also extending into some northwestern counties. Greatest risk is found within hardwood or mixed hardwood forests, which provide suitable habitat for blacklegged ticks. Risk of bites from these ticks in Minnesota is highest during the spring, early summer, and fall months.
Lyme Disease Statistics In Minnesota
From 1986 to 2008, more than 11,000 cases of tick-borne diseases were reported in Minnesota, of which the majority (more than 9,700 cases) were Lyme disease. One thousand fifty confirmed Lyme disease cases were reported in 2008. A record number of 1,239 confirmed Lyme disease cases were reported in 2007, and near-record numbers of Lyme disease cases were reported in 2004 (1,023 cases), 2005 (917 cases) and 2006 (913 cases).
The number of Lyme disease cases has been increasing dramatically since the 1990s. A variety of factors, including increasing physician awareness, increasing infection rates in ticks, and expanding tick distribution may have led to this trend.
The risk of exposure to tick-borne diseases in Minnesota is highest in the shaded areas
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The Lyme disease cases in 2008 ranged in age from infants to 95 years; the median age was 40 years. Thirty-two percent of Lyme disease patients in 2008 were under 18 years of age. In 2008, 64% of Lyme disease cases were male.
Exposure to blacklegged ticks (deer ticks) and Lyme disease in Minnesota occurs primarily from May to July, and again in the autumn, when people are outdoors and ticks are actively feeding.
The majority of cases occur in June, July, and August, peaking just after the mid-May to mid-July period when the nymphal deer tick is feeding. This lag is due to the 3-30 day period between an infected tick bite and the start of signs and symptoms.
If you ever have any doubt as to which tick you have encountered, contact a pest control expert for identification.