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Return of spring weather means ticks are coming back

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Deer ticks are usually found in shaded and moist areas at the ground level. They often cling to brush, shrubs and taller grasses, so lawns and gardens can be prime locations. They are smaller than a dime. (Photo: NYS DEC)

(WHAM) - As spring weather begins to warm temperatures across our region, insects are starting to emerge again.

Unfortunately that means the return of ticks to many wooded areas. Deer ticks are usually found in shaded and moist areas at the ground level. They often cling to brush, shrubs and taller grasses, so lawns and gardens can be prime locations.

The small bugs can spread Lyme disease and other diseases through their bites.

As people begin to spend more time outdoors, there are several ways to protect yourself, including wearing lighter-colored clothing with a tightly-woven fabric to more easily spot the insects. The New York State DEC also recommends doing a check once you return back inside, as well.

Close-toed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt are also recommended to minimize exposure. Using insect repellent on your clothing and showering within a couple hours of being outside will make it easier to spot and remove ticks as well.

MORE: A year-round problem for many, CDC says 2017 a record year for tickborne illness reports

In 2018, the Monroe County Health Department said it was seeing 80 to 90 confirmed cases of Lyme disease per year. That’s about a 30 percent increase from a few years ago, and the actual number of people contracting the disease is likely higher.

The New York State DEC has a suggested list of registered pesticide products, applicators and businesses online if that is an option for your property.

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