By Christina Hager, WBZ-TVBy Christina Hager

BOSTON (CBS) – Expect a lot of creeping and crawling this season. Experts say the cool, wet spring has this year’s tick population booming.

“As far as the abundance, this has been unusual,” said Natick Public Health Director James White.  He just got a new batch of tick warning signs he’s now installing at town parks.

Students picked up ticks when their class recently visited a walking trail. White said parents have reported finding them in places they would not expect, like baseball  fields.

“They’ve been sitting in the outfield between the two fields, and they’ve been picking them up in the grass,” he said.

Town crews are laying down mulch to keep the insects away from the fields.

Experts say cold weather had people waiting longer before they got out to mow the lawn. Long blades of grass and old leaves leftover from fall provide a tick breeding ground similar to a forest.

At Westwood-Mansfield Pediatrics, the staff has laminated diagrams for parents to duct tape to the inside of their showers to show kids how to check for ticks.

“This is the No. 1 vector-borne disease in New England, and this is treatable,” Dr. Lester Hartman said of Lyme disease. “It can go into secondary things like heart-block, meningitis, and arthritis.”

Health experts say the best protection is prevention.



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