A breakdown of the five most common ticks in Michigan - WNEM TV 5

A breakdown of the five most common ticks in Michigan

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MICHIGAN, (WNEM) -

With summer around the corner, health officials are warning --- beware the bugs!

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control reveals that diseases transmitted through the bites of blood-feeding ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas are a "growing public health problem" in the United States.

Reported cases of what are called vector-borne diseases have more than tripled nationwide, growing from 27,388 cases reported in 2004 to a whopping 96,075 cases reported in 2016, according to the new Vital Signs report published by the CDC on Tuesday.

The insects are capable of transmitting pathogens like bacteria, viruses or parasites from one host to another. The pathogens then cause illnesses such as Lyme disease, West Nile virus and Zika virus.

The Michigan DNR said there are five common ticks found on people and pets in Michigan. Here’s a breakdown of the blood suckers:

American dog tick

The DNR said 76 percent of all ticks submitted in Michigan are American dog ticks. The insect is found widespread through the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan in wooded and grassy areas.

American dog ticks are large brown ticks with ornate white markings. Female ticks are generally active from May through July and will bite people and pets.

The tick carries diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia.

Blacklegged tick (deer tick)

The blacklegged tick is a small tick with black legs. It has a rounded black shield plate behind its head.

Fifteen percent of all ticks submitted in Michigan are blacklegged ticks, according to the DNR.

They’re found sporadically throughout the Lower and Upper Peninsulas in wooded and grassy areas.

The ticks are known to carry diseases such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, deer tick virus, and Ehrlichia muris-like disease.

Lone star tick

While this tick is rare in Michigan – with only 5 percent of all ticks submitted - it is becoming more common.

This tick is known by its distinctive “lone star” marking. The DNR said it’s found in wooded areas with populations of white-tailed deer and will readily bite people and their pets in all stages.

Woodchuck tick

Only three percent of all ticks submitted in Michigan are woodchuck ticks, according to the DNR.

They’re normally found in woodchuck and skunk dens, but may also be found in wooded areas where other mammal species are abundant.

These ticks normally only bite pets when they are near animal dens. They’ll also bite people working or recreating in the woods.

Brown dog tick (kennel tick)

The least common tick found in Michigan is the brown dog tick – with only one percent submitted.

The DNR said these ticks are able to survive and breed in indoor environments as well as outdoors in grassy and bushy areas.

Experts said the tick may be hard to distinguish from other ticks because of its “plain” brown appearance. They’re often found in shelters, breeding facilities, and dog kennels.

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