EAST STROUDSBURG -- With the warm weather upon us, tick season is here.
Some experts in the Poconos are offering safety tips for people and pets who plan to spend some time outdoors.
We stopped by East Stroudsburg University where scientists tell us we are in for a bad tick season because of the mild winter we experienced this year.
The good news is there are ways to keep those hard-to-see critters off you.
Now that the warm weather is here, many of us will be spending some time outside. The McCann family did just that in Tobyhanna. But while they are outside, they are also keeping an eye out for some hard-to-see critters: ticks.
Scientists at East Stroudsburg University's Northeast Wildlife DNA Lab tell us we are in for a busy tick season.
"With our large wildlife populations, we will have a lot of ticks this season," said forensic scientist Nicole Chinnici. "We also had a mild, but not quite mild winter so the snow cover will help to incubate them and keep them moist during the winter and the milder temperatures as well helped. So the variation with the snow cover and non-snow cover helped as well, keeping them from surviving through the winter."
The most common ticks in our area are the deer and dog ticks.
The deer tick is the only tick that can carry Lyme disease if infected.
To prevent yourself from a "ticky" situation, officials say you can do a few things. Spray yourself with bug spray that contains DEET, wear light-colored clothing, and when you get home, check everything, especially from the knee down, where ticks tend to bite.
"Long sleeves, long pants, hats and when we come in we check closely," said Christopher McCann.
If you do find a tick on your skin, use a fine-point tweezer or a tick removal tool. Grab right at the base of the tick and pull straight up and out.
"There are a lot of things out there that talk about natural remedies and home products that you can put on the tick that will essentially let the tick back out of your body easily. Those all cause agitation to the tick and you don't want to do anything that will agitate the tick," said Chinnici.
If you find a tick, you can bring it to the lab at East Stroudsburg University to have it identified and tested. Just wrap it in a plastic sandwich bag or you can dispose of it yourself.