All signs are pointing to a terrible summer for Lyme Disease as tick populations are expected to explode.

According to a report by WAMC, you can blame mice for what some are anticipating as the worst year for Lyme Disease on record. Scientists have been predicting Lyme outbreaks for years based on the previous year's mouse population. A chart from 2015, the Center for Disease Control shows the Hudson Valley in the epicenter of the Lyme epidemic.

U.S. Center for Disease Control
U.S. Center for Disease Control

Those who live in the Hudson Valley are probably aware of the mouse boom we experienced last year. Mice were spotted in big numbers throughout the region, invading homes and reproducing in wooded areas near neighborhoods and schools. Ecologists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y. say the mice are responsible for spreading Lyme Disease to ticks.

It turns out that mice are one of the biggest transmitters of Lyme Disease. The rodents infect up to 95% of the ticks that come in contact with them. One mouse could have up to 100 ticks on its head; so the more mice a certain area has, the more ticks there will be carrying Lyme Disease next season.

Hudson Valley residents should be vigilant this year, as recent warm weather has already got the ticks ready to attack. There are several ways to protect yourself we've shared on our website, including a method using cotton balls that targets not just the ticks, but also the mice carrying them.

At the very least, make sure to regularly check the entire family for ticks, especially after spending time outdoors this summer.