Ticks appear in South Dakota, as a rule, around the middle of March. When snow is on the ground, as is the case this year, their development is delayed. The Federal Center for Disease Control says that in the U.S., tick-borne diseases are up 30% this year. Ticks crawl up from the ground or drop down from trees.

There are several effective preventive treatments—tablets, spot-on’s, and even an 8-month collar. As the weather warms, ticks are somewhat discouraged—often becoming scarce around the first of July. However, the flea seems to take up the slack and come to town just at that very time.