By this time of year, we usually have a bunch of snow on the ground and we've seen a good number of days significantly below freezing. While a lot of Minnesotans have been relishing in the warmer and less-snowy weather, humans aren't the only ones this winter has been easier on.

The overall lack of snow cover and warmer temperatures means it isn't out of the question that you and your pets might already have run-ins with ticks as you head outdoors.

Different varieties of ticks respond to temperatures in different ways, but one particular breed of tick you should be concerned about could be out and about already.

Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, start getting active when we see a combination of bare ground and temperatures getting above 35 degrees.

Deer ticks are the variety most associated with the spread of Lyme Disease, which is a nasty illness you don't want to deal with. While most Minnesotans don't generally think about ticks until April or May, conditions are favorable to welcome these creepy-crawly critters in getting active earlier this year.

READ MORE: A rare tick-bore disease is on the rise, spread by ticks found in Minnesota & Wisconsin

With large portions of the state seeing little to no snow on the ground right now and unseasonably warm temperatures getting as high as the 50s earlier this week, that's a perfect scenario for deer ticks to start moving around.

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So if you're thinking about getting out and enjoying this warm weather, it's important to consider those normal tick-prevention methods and check yourself and your pets for ticks.

While it is possible to encounter deer ticks in many places of the state, here are the counties with the highest numbers of reported Lyme Disease cases:

Minnesota Counties With The Most Reported Lyme's Disease Cases

Lyme Disease cases have tripled in Minnesota since the year 2000. What counties are reporting the most confirmed cases?

Gallery Credit: Ken Hayes


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