Winter ticks showing up in Mid-Michigan

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OKEMOS, Mich. (WILX) - Although winter is still here, veterinarians in Mid-Michigan say ticks are already posing big problems for pets.

News 10's Cryss Walker spoke with a vet to find out how to protect yourself and your four-legged family members from the pest.

“Years ago in our clinic if we saw three or four dogs a summer with ticks that was a lot”, said Dr. William Schultz.

“Now we may see three or four a week with ticks”, Dr. Schultz continued.

Dr. William Schultz from Schultz Veterinary Clinic in Okemos says tick season starts sooner than you think.

“As soon as the snow melts, as soon as that ground gets above 40 degrees ticks can be active”, said Dr. Schultz.

And they don't need a warm body to stay alive.

“Ticks can live in your house for months. An adult female tick can lay thousands of Eggs over a week or two week period of time. Those eggs can live in the house, as long as there's Moisture they can stay alive”, explained Dr. Schultz.

Once the eggs hatch, that’s when they can feed off of you or your pet.

“Ticks survive on mostly on blood, they can eat human blood, dog blood, cat blood but wild animals can get them too”, said Dr. Schultz.

When it's time to take your dog out for a walk, experts say the best thing you can do is to walk them on the sidewalk or in low-cut grass.

So what do you do if you see a tick on your pet?

Dr. Schultz says you can pluck it out with a pair of tweezers.

Experts say to prevent ticks from attacking your pet, you should get them a tick collar and keep it on all year round.