The growing tick problem isn't going away anytime soon. To make matters worse, New England just had an incredibly mild winter and before the calendar could even officially flip to spring, ticks are out with force all across Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont.

Shared on Facebook by UNH Cooperative Extension Forestry and Wildlife Program, several reports have come in over the last week about ticks being discovered attached to people after they've spent time in the woods. While it's not totally uncommon for some tick hatchlings to be out early, Merrimack County Extension Forester Tim Fleury found more than a dozen ticks attached to his clothing after a trip outdoors, claiming that this is the earliest he's seen this kind of force of ticks in more than 23 years.

It's a concerning development for both humans and other wildlife that the tick population is blooming this early in the year. Typically in New England, prime tick season begins in April or May, when temperature lows have consistently settled above freezing. The idea that ticks have already hatched and are potentially thriving months before they typically would means it could be a very long tick season.

It's important to take precautions if venturing in the outdoors. Wear thick clothing if possible and do periodic tick checks when you can. If you find a tick on you and want it to be tested, several New England colleges offer extension labs that will do that, including the University of Maine and the University of New Hampshire.