As warmer temps arrive in Michigan, we also see more insects coming out of their winter hiding spots. While most of those pests are harmless, some can wreak havoc on our homes, and yards, and be an overall nuisance to people and pets. And experts are now warning of an increase of one tiny insect spreading a dangerous disease in Michigan.

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Tiny Insect Becoming Threat To Michigan Residents

It can be difficult to detect this tiny bug threatening Michigan residents and their pets at about the size of a poppy seed. And there are more than 20 species of this pest to decipher in Michigan. However, one species of this bug is a concern among state officials as it's already here and causing a threat of spreading disease.

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Based on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services 2024 Michigan Lyme Disease Risk Map, 81 of Michigan’s 83 counties have a known risk for Lyme disease or potential risk for the disease. Lyme disease is caused by bacteria and is spread through the bite of infected black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks). Many people, but not all, will get a characteristic “bull’s-eye” skin rash following the bite. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, and fatigue. MDHHS is urging residents to take precautions to avoid tick bites while enjoying the outdoors.

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  • Avoid tick-infested areas. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, and wooded areas.
  • Apply an EPA-registered repellent on exposed skin.
  • Do a tick check after every outdoor outing, thoroughly inspecting yourself and your clothing, shoes, bags, kids, and pets.

Read More: 30+ Candies Sold at Michigan Walmarts, Targets, and More Recalled 

Plants That Ward off Fleas and Ticks

These plants help keep fleas, ticks, and other bugs out of your garden.

Gallery Credit: Emily Claire

Lyme Disease by County in Michigan

Some of Michigan's most rural counties have had the highest number of confirmed cases of Lyme Disease since 2000. Here are all 83 Michigan counties ranked by total number of confirmed cases of Lyme Disease between 2000 and 2020, as reported by tickcheck.com.

Gallery Credit: jrwitl