Nightly News | April 21, 2012
>>> warning about a health menace at that could be worse this year. with all the warm weather this spring, some say there's a higher threat of lyme disease transmitted by ticks. we have the story.
>> reporter: like so many others, the family is enjoying the unseasonably warm spring , but this year spending time in the great outdoors can carry a greater risk.
>> the ticks are coming out and the kids play outside more than they would with less clothing.
>> reporter: they live on shelter island , new york where dealing with ticks comes with the territory.
>> i got bit by a tick a couple of days ago.
>> reporter: black legged ticks known as deer ticks carry bacteria that causes lim disease. it shows up in the summer months with flu-like symptoms and a telltale circular rash.
>> we think the summer of 2012 will be the worst year yet for lyme disease .
>> reporter: rick says more tick that is get the disease from myself are infected this year, and the weather will make things worse thanks to a mild winter and warm spring , the insects are active earlier and a threat to people spending more time outside.
>> we expect hoards of infective ticks on the forest floor to possibly make us sick.
>> reporter: they're not just a threat to people. dogs are at risk, too. the ticks are hard to spot on fur.
>> it's a hard problem here. we deal with it daily. about 20% of our dogs have a positive antibody test for lyme disease , which is pretty big.
>> the ticks with barely larger than a poppy seed , but experts say detection is key. the lowell family checks for ticks every day. mom has had lyme disease before and knows just how serious it can be.
>> it's just something you have to deal with.
>> reporter: the danger from a tiny pest with a very big bite . nbc news, new york.