A concerning report from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire indicates that there is likely a larger population of deer ticks this season, which means there are more tiny carriers of Lyme disease to be on the lookout for.

It’s possible this isn’t just the case for the upper Midwest, but for any area where deer ticks are prevalent. Even though most of the country experienced a winter with more extended cold periods than normal, experts say this cold was not enough to kill off a large population of ticks.

An entomologist from the University of Wisconsin says that deer ticks have now adapted to the cold winters, enabling them to survive the extreme temperatures that normally reduce insect populations. More ticks means more Lyme disease carriers this summer. Usually about 35 percent of ticks carry the disease, and if the entire population is bigger than normal, that increases the number of possible carriers.

That will make it even more important this year for people to use insect repellants, avoid overgrown vegetation and do regular checks to avoid tick bites.

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