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Tick season already underway as spring slowly heats up

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FARGO—Hard to believe, even though we're talking about another winter storm, it's tick season.

Despite the freezing temperatures, this is nothing new for this time of the year, but because winter has been so long by the time warmer temperatures finally do roll around, it's going to feel like all the ticks are coming at once.

"This in my mind is one of the hardest, biggest battles that veterinarians face. It's very important," said Dr. Brad Bartholomay, Casselton, N.D., Veterinary Service Inc.

Above is a video from Casselton Veterinary Service, showing a couple of ticks that were found on some of the animals brought in.

"Every year we look at it as a war and every year we try to figure out our battle plan. Because they do get resistant to what we're doing and the best way to find out is to do blood tests to see what you used last year to see if it worked," said Dr. Bartholomay.

Casselton veterinarians say vaccines are the best way to go when protecting your pets from diseases, specifically Lyme's Disease.

Animals aren't the only ones who should be worried though, ticks spreading Lyme Disease are thought to be spreading westerly, especially in areas like Becker and Ottertail.

"Lyme disease is getting more established in Minnesota. So there has been higher prevalence of cases in humans in Minnesota. Particularly areas with more dense woods," said Ben Prather, Director of Cass County Vector Control.

The Red River is surrounded by agricultural land, not really ideal conditions for deer ticks, but experts say to still be prepared as temperatures heat up.

"Any time you're in long brush, anytime you're in a wooded area - specifically - you're going to want to maybe avoid those areas with long grasses," said Prather.

Good yard hygiene will also ward off any unwanted guests, preventing ticks and mammals that carry them from hanging out near your home.

"Also long pants for sure, applying an insecticide or a repellent is absolutely a great idea," said Prather.

Now the good news is mosquitos are still cookin' and in hibernation.

The spring rains will be the key factor in determining how bad our mosquito season will be, but we won't have to worry about that until late spring.

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