Central New York's mild winter has been great: lower heating bills, less snow removal, and more ticks? It's possible.

Not only do the mild temperatures mean we'll see ticks sooner - we could see more of them.

According to American Pest Solutions, "ticks don't hibernate. That means when temperatures are warm enough, even in the dead of winter, they will be active. In a warm winter, like the one we just had, ticks have more opportunities to breed. This increases the chances of pets and people picking up ticks this spring."

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Traditionally, we think of tick season as starting around May - but the mild winter means ticks can be anywhere.

The best protection against ticks and the diseases they carry is prevention:

    • Using tick repellent; remember to spray clothing as well
    • Wearing long sleeves and pants
    • Avoiding wooded and overgrown areas
    • Check thoroughly for ticks when returning from outdoors

It's also important to protect your pets with an effective flea and tick repellent.