Mild winter could lead to an increase in the local tick population

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- Summer is just around the corner, and that means many Hoosiers will be spending more time outdoors.

There’s a growing concern we could see more ticks than usual this year in central Indiana.

Why?

Experts say back-to-back mild winters are likely to blame.

It’s not uncommon to see a spike in the tick population in the summer immediately following a mild winter.

With more ticks comes an increased concern and risk for Lyme disease.

However, not all ticks carry the disease.

In central Indiana it’s the black-legged tick also known as the “deer tick” that you need to lookout for.

You need to be especially careful if you’re in a wooded area in the north-west part of the state.

The Indiana State Department of Health says that’s where a majority of the new cases of tick-borne diseases are concentrated.

“Tick-borne disease is a large public health impact in Indiana, last year we had over 200 cases of Tick-borne disease,” said Taryn Stevens an epidemiologist with the Indiana State Department of Health.

If you’re bit by a tick and infected with Lyme disease you could see signs and symptoms as soon as three days after the tick bite.

Symptoms to look for include a fever, chills, headache, unexplained fatigue, and a rash near the location of the bite.

To prevent getting bit by a tick consider wearing insect repellent with deet, covering your head with a hat when hiking, and tucking your pants into your socks to keep ticks from crawling up your legs.