Staying Vigilant During Tick Season

By  | 

With warmer weather, most of us are now spending more time outside, along with our pets.

But so are ticks, which were causing some trouble for bowmen at an archery tournament last weekend.

"They took home more than just the fun of the tournament," said Karla Meikle of the Morton County 4-H. "A little bit of Bismarck went with them with the ticks."

The state health department says dogwood ticks, also known as wood ticks, are the most common.

"Most of them were American dogwood ticks, so they were bigger and easier to see," Meikle said. "So we were sure that parents were checking for ticks on their children."

But deer ticks, the ones that carry Lyme disease have been on the rise since 2010.

"We are starting to see those ticks along the eastern border, so it's possible that those ticks would be moving more westerly," said Alicia Lepp of the health department.

Doctors say you can remove most ticks at home with a pair of tweezers, but make sure you get all of the tick.

If you start to show these symptoms, you might want to head in to see a doctor.

"If you get the classic rash with the target shape to, it that's a sign of Lyme disease, along with symptoms of fever, malaise, fatigue, that sort of thing," said Dr. Susan Betting, a physician of the Sanford Walk-In Clinic.

The health department says it's also important to check your pets for ticks and talk to your veterinarian about tick and flea prevention.

"It's very likely they could pick up ticks," Lepp said. "They are lower to the ground and they going to be running around grassy areas. When they do so, they can detach and puts you at risk for those ticks to attach to you."

While the creepy, crawly feeling of the bugs can be a bother, they won't stop members of NISHU archery club from hitting their targets.

"It's just one of those hazards of being outside in North Dakota in the river bottom," said Curt Pierson, president of the NISHU archery club. "Just be prepared for it."

By wearing long pants, spraying tick repellent, and avoiding the woods and areas with tall grass.

For more information on tick bites and the diseases ticks can carry, visit the department of health's website at