With the early spring weather and lack of a real winter ticks lyme disease could be an epidemic in NJ this year. The mild weather doesn't cause a rise in population it just causes the adult to change behavior.
Adult ticks are usually dormant in winter months, however without the freezing temperatures they are actively seeking hosts to feed upon.
People should be especially aware when outdoors during the May-July season for nymphal ticks. Nymphal ticks are often responsible for spreading Lyme disease to people. The disease can be debilitating to humans if undiagnosed, causing chronic fatigue, joint pain and neurological problems. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in the U.S., with the majority of cases occurring in the Northeast.