Flea and tick population "booming"

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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) We've had a mild Winter and a wet Spring--the perfect conditions for fleas and ticks.

Veterinarians say they're already getting calls about the bugs, but it's not just a threat for your pets. People love to come out to nature centers for exercise or just to enjoy the outdoors.

You'll need to be careful because the flea and tick population is booming and that means some illnesses they cause are too. We spoke to Dr. Dan Thompson at Chisholm Trail Animal Hospital in Park City. He says vets at the hospital are seeing more and more cases of animals coming in with fleas and ticks and in some cases getting sick.

Thompson says we're more than a month ahead of schedule with the tick population and it's all because of that mild winter we had. Chisholm Trail tests for several tick born illnesses when animals coming into the office including Lyme disease.

Thompson says these diseases impact animals and their owners and can be very dangerous. That's why removing a tick properly is so important.

"You pull the head of the tick out of the skin and it usually pulls a little plug of skin out. And that's the only way to get the head of the tick out," Thompson said.

Often times we humans get those ticks from our pets. Thompson says any vet clinic will sell medication that works well at killing and repelling fleas and ticks.

Most medication has to be taken every month. Thompson says it is important you start now, because this is a problem that will only get worse.