It’s time to start preparing for what could be a bumper crop of ticks, which are emerging from under the grass looking for a blood meal.

Mayo Clinic parasitic diseases expert Dr. Bobbi Pritt said after a relatively mild winter, ticks have gotten an early start. “The ticks will just burrow under the leaf litter and hang out for the winter,” she explained, “And as soon as the ground thaws and the snow melts they’re going to come out and they are going to be hungry.”

She suggests the ABCs of tick prevention and said, “A is for avoid. You want to know where ticks are found and avoid those areas, So, tall grasses, tall shrubs. Ticks can’t fly, they can’ jump but they can crawl up vegetation and they extend their legs and wait for something to come by.”

If you can’t avoid, “B” is for bug spray, and Dr. Pritt suggests anything with DEET. “C” is for clothing — making sure not to leave skin exposed for ticks to bite into.

She added that those that have been bitten should look for signs of Lyme disease — a rash that looks like a bullseye, fever, chills or body aches should prompt a visit to a healthcare provider.