BELLEVILLE (WREX) — The number of ticks is on the rise throughout Illinois, bringing a greater threat of disease.
The state is home to several species of ticks, but entomologists are seeing a large rise in the American dog tick this summer, which can host Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The Lone Star tick has also been seen throughout southern Illinois. That species also carries Rocky Mountain spotted fever along with the Heartland virus.
Authorities are not sure of the cause behind the spike in population, but factors could include 2012's warm summer and the recent mild winter. Strong populations in animals providing food for ticks could also be responsible.
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