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Ticks Lurking Around Parks and Lakes - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Ticks Lurking Around Parks and Lakes

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Minnesota State Park Rangers say our recent weather is the perfect environment for ticks, which can be dangerous disease-carrying insects.

Recent rainfall mixed with warm days like Saturday make for ideal conditions that will bring ticks out to feed.

You'll find them in high grasses and near bodies of water, places like state parks and lakes. That's where rangers and campers tell Valley News Team's Hope Hanselman how to protect yourself.

The West Fargo Boy Scouts camping in Buffalo State Park this weekend know they're not alone.

"They're just little bugs, when you see one just peel it off and throw it in the grass," Owen Peterson, a scout, said.

There's an army of other troops lying in wait. Rangers say May to July marks the height of tick season.

"We are seeing more of them, they seem to taper off a little bit more towards the end of June," Nick Bartels, a ranger, said. "Usually any time you're in the longer grass, even when you're in the short-mowed lawn they can be present."

Bartels is warning campers like Luke Roulette, another boy scout, of the dangers.

"They crawl up from the bottom, like they crawl straight up and they just stand up on their hind legs and wave their arms in the air, trying to sniff for chemicals that mammals have, then they'll jump seeing if they can get on," Luke explained.

But, a quick check isn't the only precaution you should take. Wear repellant and hide exposed skin.

"Typically for them to transfer any diseases, they need to be attached for 12 to 24 hours," Bartels said. "So if you're proactive on checking, you're going to safeguard yourself a little bit more."

So rangers are pushing everyone to start good habits now for a summer in the great outdoors.

Not all ticks carry disease, however. Deer ticks are more likely to carry lyme disease than wood ticks. You'll typically find those out in lakes country.

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