| Story by Meghan McMahon |
After a long winter, nothing compares to spending time outside. But in Will County, spring is the season when it’s most important to be vigilant about ticks when outdoors.
According to a 2018 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tick-borne illnesses, along with those caused by mosquito and flea bites, more than tripled in the United States between 2004 and 2016.
In Illinois, adult ticks are most active in April, May and June, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. While tick season continues through the summer into mid-fall, the life cycle of different tick species varies and plays a role in when they are most likely to be found on humans.
At least 15 tick species can be found in Illinois, but the Illinois Department of Public Health reports that only a handful are typically encountered by humans: the American dog tick, sometimes referred to as the wood tick; the blacklegged tick, more commonly known as the deer tick; the brown dog tick; the lone star tick; and the winter tick.