Tick season has begun

Tick season is underway on Long Island. Adult deer ticks have already been spotted in western Suffolk County, according to researchers from Cornell Cooperative Extension.

While Lyme disease is the most common tick-transmitted infection, doctors at Stony Brook Medicine have seen a growing number of other tickborne diseases. Dr. Luis Marcos said Suffolk County has the state's highest number of cases of babesiosis, which is caused by Babesia, a parasite.

He also said that ehrlichiosis, a bacterial infection, is common. Ehrlichiosis is transmitted by the lone star tick. Experts say the tick invaded Long Island from the South and is the most aggressive tick.

The tick problem has worsened over the past 5 to 10 years, according to Dr. Jorge Benach.

Experts said predicting the upcoming season is hard but if you're wondering if the snow was a deterrent, experts say that is not the case. Ticks actually hide in the leaf litter and the snow acts as an insulation.

Experts who study the pesky bloodsuckers say the persistent snow cover ensures the ticks will be a headache this spring and summer.

Health officials are already urging anyone spending time outdoors to take precautions.