WARNING: This story might tick some people off.

Kateryn Rochon, acting department head in the Department of Entomology at the University of Manitoba, says ticks are emerging early in Manitoba this spring.

"We're getting warmer temperatures earlier than we usually see them because we didn't have a whole lot of snow cover. The ground is bare now, and it's warm enough for active ticks."

She says if we compare this year to last year when we first started seeing ticks, the emergence appears to have occurred about ten days earlier.

"As far as the amount of ticks we're going to get, that's always difficult to predict. I expect it to be similar to other years."

Prevention is key. Rochon suggests that if you are looking to avoid ticks, you should wear long clothing that is tucked in, not exposing any skin, use repellent and also bypass long grass and other forms of vegetation.

"Ticks are parasites, and they want to suck your blood, and you don't want that regardless of the species."

Rochon says it's important to note that only Blacklegged Ticks, otherwise known as Wood Ticks, can transmit diseases like Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. In contrast, American Dog Ticks will not transmit such diseases.

"It's important to be able to tell the difference when a tick bites you. But if you don't know how, don't worry. Remove the tick that bit you, take a picture of it, and upload that picture to etick.ca, and we can give you an ID in about 24 hours usually."

She notes that you should think about the day you got bit by the tick, mark it on your calendar, and keep track of how you are feeling.

"I think it's healthy to have a reaction to ticks that is averse because you want to be mindful because they can transmit some pathogen, so you don't want to take it lightly. But I don't think there's really a need to panic. You need just to remember now it is tick season, so always do a tick check every day. Even if you don't think you've been in a place where there's going to be a tick, it's a good habit to start now."