Don't underestimate these little buggers.

Even though the temperatures are still relatively cold, WWMT says that ticks are already becoming a problem for our pets in West Michigan. Apparently this has been an issue since mid-February and vet clinics are only seeing more.

Much like a lot of us during the winter, once it hits about 40º the ticks come out of hibernation. But as the temperatures fluctuate, they move to a warmer area such as a garage.

So what can you do to protect your dog? First off, make sure to check them every time after they're outside. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has a list of 6 places you need to check: inside ears, under the tail, between toes, around the eyelids, genital area, and under the collar. If you do find a tick, fine-tip tweezers are the best way to remove them. Of course, the sooner the better to prevent your dog from getting sick.

These are the most common ticks you'll find in Michigan and the diseases they carry.