The types of ticks in Illinois and other midwestern states have increased. We used to have the deer tick and the dog tick, not that those weren’t nasty enough. They carry Lyme Disease which can be deadly. Now we have new or newer species of ticks such as the lone star tick, black legged tick, the gulf coast tick, and now, the Asian longhorned tick is headed our way from the east coast. The Asian longhorned tick can reproduce without a mate. The black legged tick is associated with Powassan virus which can cause encephalitis and meningitis. Half of those who survived Lyme Disease, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the spine) suffer from lifelong disabilities. A couple of tick species are hunters. Any of the ticks we have had in the past would wait on grass, brush, or drop out of low tree branches to get to you. Gulf Coast ticks and lone star ticks will actually hunt you. The lone star tick will give you a lifelong allergy to red meat, known as alpha-gal syndrome. Dog ticks belong to the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever group of ticks and carry all kinds of nasty diseases. While ticks are a problem, they can be avoided by always using insect repellent with lots of DEET. Remember, your pets can get ticks also and bring them home to you. Make sure they are protected. Ticks are becoming more common in people’s yards, so remember that. Ticks will be at your next cook out. If you find a tick, get it off you right away. Keep the tick for identification purposes so the doctors have an idea of what they are dealing with. Go to a prompt care if your own doctor can’t see you right away. Always keep insect repellent with you in your vehicle and in your shooting bag.