Tick season is here: What you need to know

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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY (WJRT) (06/12/19) -- They're small, about the size of a pencil eraser, and they are here in mid Michigan.

"I have seen two myself this year in Shiawassee County, and I've never seen a tick in Shiawassee County before this year," said Shiawassee County Health Department Director Larry Johnson.

Johnson says the tiny 8 legged native parasites are found in wooded and tall grassy areas and can easily latch on to human skin. That's where he says it can get dangerous.

"They can burrow into you and if they're burrowed in for a long enough period of time, they can transmit disease," Johnson said.

Diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Lyme Disease, which if left untreated could cause a number of health problems.

"It's found in the deer tick, which is the smaller tick and smaller than the wood tick, and it has flu like symptoms," he said.

A number of counties in western Michigan have confirmed cases of Lyme Disease, while a handful of mid Michigan counties only have suspected, but not confirmed cases.

"Climate. We've seen some warmer years over the last 20 years, and that has coincided with the increase in ticks. But also, we've seen some more reforestation and that is a main habitat for ticks."

Johnson says if you do find one, he recommends removing it with tweezers and then burning them in an ashtray to make sure they're dead. But regardless of what you do, ticks will not be going anywhere anytime soon.

"They're quite a bit older than humans. They've been creeping and crawling for a long time before humans were here and will probably be here after humans are gone."

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