Ticks may carry diseases that cause illness in humans and animals. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) provides tick and identification at no charge to Michigan residents. Ticks that are dead when they are received will not be tested. Ticks may also be identified electronically by submitting a photo.
Although tick exposure can occur year-round, the most active months are April to September. It’s important to know where to expect ticks in your area and how to treat your clothing and gear. Ticks are known to live in grassy, brushy, wooded areas, or even on animals. When spending time outdoors during the summer months take precaution when walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting and look for ticks when you return home. Using insect repellant with DEET can be applied to clothing and skin.
When you come indoors, check your clothing for ticks. Ticks may be carried into your home on your clothing or through your pet. If you find any ticks, they should be removed. If you need to wash your clothes, do so in hot water or tumble dry your clothes for at least 10 minutes to kill ticks. Showering within two hours after coming indoors can reduce the risk of Lyme Disease and other tickborne diseases.
When conducting a full body check, use a full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check yourself and your child(ren) for ticks:
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside the belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around the hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
When checking your pet for ticks, look:
- In and around the ears
- Around the eyelids
- Around the tail
- Under the collar
- Under the front legs
- Between the back legs
- Between the toes
What Type of Clothing Should I Wear Outside?
Tuck shirt into pants and pants into long socks. This can prevent a tick from crawling under clothing. Wear a hat and kerchief to protect your head and neck from ticks.
- Long, light colored pants
- Long sleeved shirt
- Closely knitted socks
- Kerchief and hat
According to the CDC:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
- Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.
- See below for proper tick removal:
2019 Lyme Disease Map
Below is the 2019 Lyme Disease Map provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. This map was updated in January 2019. For more information about Lyme Disease prevention, visit www.michigan.gov/lyme.