According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA)’s 2018 “bug barometer”, the Midwest will have to contend with higher-than-average tick populations this year. Moisture blown up from La Niña will create warm, wet conditions perfect for fostering early tick growth this spring. In fact, in many parts of the midwest, ticks are already awake and active. Tick season has already begun, and it’s a big one. Knowing where ticks are, what they want, and how to protect yourself is already important. Remember: no matter how severe the season, a little anti-tick diligence is all it takes to force them to find their meals elsewhere. Here’s everything you need to know to make that happen.