There seem to be a lot more ticks this year in Michigan than in previous years, but what is causing the rising number of ticks?

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What Is A Tick?

Close up of lone star or seed tick in macro on a male finger isolated on white
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Ticks might be small but they can cause a lot of damage to animals and humans.

So what is a tick? Ticks are cousins to spiders. Ticks are flat with eight legs and oval-shaped bodies that swell up when they eat.

The mite bites a reddish dog
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What Do Ticks Eat?

Closeup big tick parasite on ear dog skin, selective focus
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The short answer to the above question is blood. Any animal whether it's a dog, a bird, a bear, a deer, and yes a human that has blood, you are on the tick menu.

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S.Rohriach/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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As you can see in the photo above ticks can really fill up on your blood or the blood of an animal.

What Kind of Disease Can You Catch From Ticks?

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Diy13/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Most people know that ticks cause Lyme Disease, but that is not all, they can give you Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever too.

Ticks are only second to mosquitoes in spreading disease to humans.

Why Are There So Many Ticks In Michigan This Year?

Group of ticks crawling on human skin, computer illustration.
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The past few years in Michigan the winters have been very light and its cold temperatures kill off ticks. Yes, it still gets cold in the Mitten state but not like it used to which means more ticks are making it through the winter so they can make even more ticks.

The tick bites the person, sucked deep under the skin.
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I have lived in the same house four summers in a row and this year by far is the worst I have seen ticks in Michigan ever. A week ago, I killed at least one tick a day for about 7 days straight. I live in the country and now the grass in the fields is getting taller plus I have a lot of deer around my property and where there are deer there are ticks.

Erin Donalson/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Erin Donalson/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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WOOD-TV reported that according to Dr. Thomas Mather, an entomologist, said, "What I think is the biggest driver changing the dynamics of tick populations in America today are white-tailed deer and their adaptability to live among people as opposed to staying away from people."

Encephalitis or Lyme Virus Infected Tick Arachnid Insect Crawling on Wood
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I have a lot of friends who spend a lot of time outdoors in Michigan and all of them are complaining about the tick numbers this year.

If you have pets make sure they have tick protection. I was late last year with my dog on getting him ready and had to pick a few off but this year I timed it perfectly but I still check him daily.

If you plan on going hiking, camping, or just working in the yard, be on the lookout for ticks. It is better to find them and kill them first before they make you or your pet a buffet.

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