A Lone Star tick.

A Lone Star tick. (Benjamin Smith Photo)

Threats posed by ticks seem to be on the rise this spring.

Thanks to a mild winter, large numbers of ticks are out early this spring. And an aggressive breed of tick new to the region is rapidly spreading throughout the Northeast, posing new dangers.

According to an article on PressHerald.com, researchers in Maine say they’re seeing lots of ticks out already this year, whereas last year they were still largely dormant. The researchers are studying ways to battle Lyme disease, which is growing health problem throughout the Northeast. They say cases of the disease in Maine are likely to rise this year.

But dangers from ticks extend beyond Lyme disease. A native of Texas, the Lone Star tick was once found in the Northeast only around Montauk, Long Island. But now it is rapidly spreading throughout the region. While it does not carry Lyme disease, the Lone Star tick does carry other diseases and experts say it could be a “game-changer” because of its hungry and aggressive nature.

Researchers say unlike the deer tick, the Lone Star tick can sense the presence of a host, has great vision and will actively follow you. They are also three times as fast as a deer tick.

According to an article on CBSBoston, veterinarians near Boston are warning that the Lone Star tick poses a big threat to pets because they tend to attack animals in swarms and they carry diseases that can be deadly to pets.

Lone Star ticks can also carry a disease that can cause human victims to have a sometimes severe allergic reaction to red meat.

The Lone Star tick is identifiable by a white dot on its back.