Mild winter touches off early tick season in New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A Cornell University researcher says the mild winter means ticks have started stirring earlier this year as they wake from their dormant state and begin searching for blood meals.

The weather doesn't mean there will be more ticks, but people should be aware of the parasites as they head out for hikes and climbs in the unseasonably nice weather. As usual, people are also being told to be careful during the peak Lyme disease season in May
and June.

Paul Curtis, a professor of natural resources at the university in Ithaca, said he's already finding sesame-seed size, adult black-legged ticks around his home.

Some ways to reduce the chance of a tick bite include wearing light-colored, long clothing, using bug repellant and frequently checking for ticks.

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