Seeing a tick on your body is never a pleasant experience. These tiny little vampires not only drain you, your children, your pets, and anyone foolish enough not to take steps to prevent a bite of blood while potentially transmitting diseases directly into your system. Hikers, parents, and pet lovers in Michigan, buckle up -- our outdoor adventures just got a little bit more creepy and crawly, as our state ranks among some of America's most at risk for tick-borne illnesses.

Related: Why You Need to Know How To Remove a Tick Safely in Michigan

Before we examine PestGnome's rankings, which reveal the worst state in America for tick-borne illnesses, let's examine the diseases these bloodsuckers carry.

Diseases Carried by Michigan Ticks

Revealing Michigan's Rank in Worst States for Tick-Borne Illness

Lyme disease is the headliner when it comes to tick-borne illnesses. This nasty bugger is the most common one spread by the black-legged tick (deer tick) and can cause symptoms ranging from bullseye-shaped rash to fatigue, fever, and joint pain. Left untreated, it can mess with your heart, joints, and nervous system.

Next up is ehrlichiosis, which sails under the radar regarding tick-related diseases. This illness is transmitted by the lone star and black-legged tick and sneaks up on you with symptoms like fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. Though lesser known than Lyme disease, it can be just as debilitating if not caught and treated early.

Revealing Michigan's Rank in Worst States for Tick-Borne Illness

Now, let's talk about Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RSMF). This rare disease is transmitted by the American dog tick, the Rocky Mountain wood tick, and the brown dog tick. RMSF can cause sudden fever, headache, and rash and, if untreated, can lead to serious complications and even death.

Related: Michigan Travel ALERT: Top 50 Bed Bug Cities Revealed By Orkin

While there are several more diseases that a tick in the grass or woods may be waiting to pass along to you in Michigan, the best way to avoid them is to prevent being bitten and to be aware of the areas where they are most common. Here's a look at PestGnome's study, ranking the states for risk of contracting a tick-borne illness.

Revealing America's Most At Risk State for Tick Borne Illnesses

Let's face it: finding a tick on yourself, your pet, or your child is never a pleasant experience. Since these tiny blood-sucking pests carry several diseases that can be deadly to humans and animals alike, it's essential to know where and when to take precautions. PestGnome has weighed the factors that increase your odds of being bitten by an infected bug; let's countdown to the Worst State in America for Tick-Borne Illnesses. For PestGnome's full methodology, see the link in entry #1.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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