MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Officials with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health say 2021 “is shaping up to be a bad year for ticks.”

In a Q&A posted to the school’s website, Professor Jon Oliver said that forecast may change depending on the weather.

“A lot of adult deer ticks were active early in the spring and this may correspond to high levels of activity among the very small immature ticks,” Oliver said. “On the other hand, dry weather and drought conditions will limit tick activity and reduce population numbers, especially for deer ticks. Parts of the state having a very dry season may see fewer ticks later on this year.”

Deer ticks, which are common in Minnesota and can be infected with bacteria that cause Lyme disease, are most active May through July, Oliver said.

To protect yourself, Oliver recommends insect repellent containing DEET and daily tick checks. If you find a tick on your body, Oliver says to pull it straight off and avoid crushing it.