Here come the ticks


PHOTO: John Tann, Creative Commons license

Yesterday, as I was leaving a store in Hibbing, it occurred to me that I was outside without a jacket and it didn’t hurt. I was completely comfortable walking around in northern Minnesota like a human. That’s a big deal around here, especially when winter goes into overtime as it did this year. You get about a week or two of that before the bugs come out and then …

Oh, never mind.

Check for ticks.

According to a story today in the Duluth News Tribune, last year was a record-setting season for cases of Lyme Disease in Minnesota, an ailment traced to certain tick bites in areas where deer congregate (i.e.: most of northern, central and southern Minnesota … just about anywhere not paved).

With the late spring this year, people are emerging into outdoor comfort just as our tiny parasitic neighbors are creepy, creepy, crawling their way up blades of grass, looking for a passing meat wagon. It could be you. Actually, it will be you if you go outside. You’re going to have to get used to just picking those bad boys off your jeans and flushing them. Dad used to burn them with a lighter, but you do it your way.

UPDATE: Northern MN media folks are tweeting me their tick-related stories today. The St. Cloud Times is deep in tick country. And MPR’s Daily Circuit devoted significant air time to ticks this morning.

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