Tick bites on the rise in Wisconsin

What to watch out for if you get a bite

CREATED Jul 22, 2013

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  • Adult Deer Tick Image by Deborah Platt

MADISON - Doctors are seeing an increase in tick bites in Wisconsin this summer.

The weather has been ideal for the burrowing pests.

Most of the bites are wood ticks, which aren't harmless.  But Dr. Mike Halberg with St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo says he's seeing an increase in deer ticks as well.  Deer ticks carry Lyme Disease.

Lyme Disease has a pretty unique rash that's easy to spot.  They call it the bullseye rash.  "It's usually about the size of your palm, although it can vary in size.  It's got a red circle in the middle and then clearing and then a big red halo around it," Halberg said.

If you do get a tick, use gentle pressure to wiggle it out.  You don't want to squeeze too hard for two reasons.  One, you don't want to break it off, leaving half the tick still inside you.  Two, "you don't want it to regurgitate all its substance into you."

Lyme Disease can be treated if you catch it early enough.