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New app helps fight ticks

The new TickTracker app provides information about where ticks have been spotted as well as tips for how to safely remove one. Submitted photo

FARGO—A new app could help keep wood ticks away.

The TickTracker app displays areas where others have spotted ticks, and users can also add where they've seen one of the bugs.

If users get bitten by a tick, the app offers a helpful guide on how to pick them off.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, deer ticks — also known as blacklegged ticks — are the most common type of tick in this area.

They stick to low-growing plants — they're most likely to be found on ankles or feet.

But North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologist Doug Leier says they're not just in the deep woods; people can get them simply walking around the park.

"Just to think that you live in a metropolitan area that you don't have to worry, you should be aware of ticks no matter where you live," Leier said.

While ticks can carry Lyme disease, tick bites are no reason to panic. Last year, there were only 56 known cases of Lyme disease in North Dakota.

In Minnesota, the latest data from 2016 shows about 1,300 cases throughout the year.

But even then, North Dakota Department of Health Field Epidemiologist Brenton Nesemeier said Lyme disease is treatable, although there are some symptoms to be on the lookout for.

"It's that classic bullseye rash, but you also may have fevers, chills, some joint pains, but typically you'll just see that rash," Nesemeier said.

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