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Expert Expects Large Tick Population After Warm Winter

By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Although the growing season hasn't even started, there's already a bumper crop -- of a critter that really ticks people off.

Ticks make even confirmed nature-lovers skeevy, since they do more than suck your blood. They can also transmit diseases, including Lyme Disease. Schuylkill Center land and facilities director, Sean Duffy, says the mild winter and warm, early spring have given ticks a leg-up.

"We're going to have a lot. Last year was actually a pretty active year for ticks on our property, and because we didn't have the die-off from a harsh winter, I think that this is really going to be a big year for ticks," which aren't very big, especially deer ticks.

And, Duffy says you don't need deer strolling through your yard to have them.

"Mice are actually one of their big host species."

In fact, that's where the Lyme bacteria come from. Wearing long sleeves and pants can help you keep ticks from making a meal of you. But, make sure you check for them when you go inside.

"The best prevention is to be vigilant. Because you are going to get them. It's impossible to go outside, especially in nature, without coming in contact with them."

So, check yourself and your kids when you go inside.

"Check along your waistline, your sock line, anywhere your clothes meet your skin. That's generally where you'll find them."

And if you miss one, "you want to carefully with steady pressure pull the tick out. If it's completely embedded, put alcohol on it. By soaking it with alcohol, they tend to try to get themselves out, so that you can get them out."

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