If you’re thinking about taking a trip to the lake, woods, or trails, health experts warn there may be ticks swarming the area.

Sanford Health infectious disease consultant Dr. Noe Mateo said ticks are likely going to be present and you might get bitten. That is why it is critical to check your body up and down to see if any are crawling on you. He says there is one symptom you should look out for.

“There’s going to be a bullseye rash although that’s only 20% of the time. Usually, it’s a very nondescriptive rash. People notice the site of a tick bite, but it’s not often that you can see a tick,” Mateo said

That tick bite can lead to Lyme disease, which can cause the body further harm.

“Cardiac disease, disease of the heart; bromatology disease, joint problems, joint aches, and neurologic disease, meningitis,” Mateo said

Wearing insect repellant on the skin and clothing is your greatest defense.

The concern should always be there; if you’re going outside ticks are very hearty although they only have a two-year life cycle,” Mateo said

Mateo said it takes 24 hours for the tick to transmit the disease to the body.

“It’s like a host-vector parasite relationship. The host being human, the vector being the ticks, and the parasite being the bacteria. All these play a major role in disease and morbidity,” Mateo said

There are many different kinds of ticks, but the most common ticks that people come across in North Dakota are the dog tick, the lone star tick, which has a little white spot on the back, and the deer tick, which carries Lyme Disease, but that’s not the only disease that ticks spread.

Ticks can spread other viruses including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Powassan virus which have similar symptoms to West Nile virus.

Our four-legged friends also are at risk for these parasites, so check with your veterinarian on best practices to keep your pets safe.