I don't know about you, but I remember growing up in Maine, running through the woods playing hide and seek, crawling through tall grass, and mowing the lawn because it was my job. All that time, I never once worried about ticks. Ticks were what our dog got, not humans.

Shorts then were shorter than the cargo pants you see today. Lots of leg exposure makes it easy for ticks to hitch a ride on, but no one ever got one. So what happened?

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According to Mosquito Squad, Back in the early 1900s, deer ticks were being reported in Massachusetts for the first time. The deer tick population continued to spread slowly over the next few decades, and the population of deer ticks climbed across the country.  From the 1970s through the 1990s, New England tick populations continued to grow, and now, there are 35 states in the country that have established deer tick populations. Over the last 20 years, they have doubled in numbers.

So what caused the deer ticks to take over?

Deforestation played a part in forcing deer tick populations to move with the populations of white-tailed deer. Deer ticks get their name because deer are these ticks' number one source of blood to feed on.

Climate change also played a part. As temperatures have risen and the warm season has gotten longer over the past 50 years, the deer ticks have thrived, and their population continues to grow.

So sadly, our kids won't be able to spend summers outdoors like we did as kids. They'll always need to check for ticks.

For information on how to remove ticks if found one you or your family, check out these instructions from the Center For Disease Control.

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