Last winter we had 31 nights with an air temperature of 32 or colder. The previous winter of 2015-2016 we had 39 nights below 32. This set the stage for more bugs, and of course, more ticks.

Dan Hekman of Pest Tech Chattanooga tells Channel 3 which areas are more prone to tick calls in the Tennessee Valley.

"Places like Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain, even Missionary Ridge, there's a lot of overgrown vegetation and a lot of wildlife-both rats, squirrels, sometimes stray pets and deer run around,  and they are natural carriers of ticks," says Hekman.

With the above average rain we've also had, Hekman says to be cautious about over watering this year and breaks down some helpful tips for homeowners that include: keeping your grass cut because ticks love tall grass, get a professional to spray every month or two, and with shrubs, keep the bottom root as thin as you can.

Hekman mentions one of the main carriers are pets. Dr. Marissa Shulman with Riverview Animal Hospital tells Channel 3, the best way to protect our furry friends is by combing through their fur to check for ticks and using a preventative medication.

"Along with your preventatives, it sounds like a lot of work but it's worth it when you do take your dog out or your cat for that matter, if you go to an area that has a high tick risk, brush them," Dr. Shulman says. "Go through and just look for ticks."

Dr. Shulman also tells Channel 3, our feline friends can also become affected by ticks and tick-borne diseases, even if indoors.

Besides our yards and pets, Pest Tech Chattanooga says to not forget about yourself and kids. We are carriers as well. 

So, what will next year bring? Possibly more Ticks. 

The Climate Prediction Center releases their outlooks for months ahead, and as of July 20, it's indicating slightly above average temperatures for the Tennessee Valley for December, January, and February. If this holds true for the 2017-2018 Winter, we would be looking at more preventative measures and higher tick calls for the Summer of 2018.