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Published: Apr 15, 2011

Warm weather doesn't just mean spring flowers and sunny weekends - it also means that ticks are more common. These pests pose a threat to humans and their animal companions, so it's best to practice extra caution when spending time outside with your dog or cat, according to Mississippi's Sun Herald.

Ticks are blood-sucking parasites, and they can be carriers of serious diseases. Because ticks can latch on for several days without being noticed, they often have ample time to pass illnesses such as Lyme disease to their host.

The bugs are commonly found in grassy and shrubby areas, and latch on to their hosts' fur when they pass through the foliage.

Pet guardians should check themselves and their pets after spending time outside. If a tick is found, use blunt tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, pulling it out with a steady, even pressure.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics. Those who are concerned that their pet may have contracted an illness should visit their veterinarian for an exam.