Things are warming up in Minnesota. Spring is here and summer is on the way. More and more of us will be getting out and doing things outdoors with our families and pets. But you know who else is going to be out and about? Ticks.


Yes, it's tick season again. And actually, tick season sort of started back in February.

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The Earliest a Tick has Been Seen in Minnesota

On February 5th this year, the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District (MMCD) found a deer tick in Dakota County.

Alex Carlson, a spokesperson for MMCD, spoke with KARE 11 about the discovery and he said, "'I was looking at our records and it looks like in 2020 on March 4 we started finding ticks and that was still pretty early, but February is the earliest I can remember.'”

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Ticks We Need to be On the Lookout for in Minnesota

Before we get into the 'tick explosion' let's talk about the different types of ticks we need to keep our eyes out for in Minnesota.

Ticks can be very very tiny. As small as a poppy seed is how people like to describe them. But the largest ticks could be the size of a pencil eraser. So still pretty small.

The main ticks of concern in Minnesota are:

the blacklegged tick, aka the deer tick (The Minnesota DNR says this one causes the most tickborne disease in Minnesota.)

the dog tick, aka the wood tick

and the lone-star tick (Fun Fact: This one can make you allergic to red meat.)

Minnesota DNR
Minnesota DNR

We'll want to be very careful about all of these ticks this year because it seems that a tick explosion is coming.

Lots of Ticks are Expected in Minnesota this Year

It seems very likely that we'll see a tick explosion in Minnesota this year, and that's all thanks to how mild our winter was.

Alex said that during the winter ticks will die off while they hibernate because of the cold. But because of the lack of cold temperatures we had this year, more of them likely survived.

Photo by Victor Grabarczyk on Unsplash
Photo by Victor Grabarczyk on Unsplash

So it's very important that you start tick prevention medication on your pets now if you aren't already using it. The ticks are out and about and it doesn't look like it's going to get much better.

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Gallery Credit: Carly Ross