Winter is finally on its way out, and if you thought this year's cold and ice were enough to keep the ticks away, think again.

The state Department of Health says ticks are back in full force, and as the temperature rises, so does the number of ticks.

The sudden appearance of these ticks is catching some pet owners off guard, but there are ways to protect your pooch from the little suckers.

Special collars and combs can keep the bugs at bay.

As for yourself and your family, ticks carry the threat of Lyme disease and other illnesses, and experts warn you to avoid contact.

But if one happens to become attached, Veterinarian Andrew Eschner says remain calm and remove it as quickly as possible.

"You want to find yourself a pair of tweezers with preferably very sharp tips and you want slide in underneath that tick and remove it gently, but somewhat rapidly,” said Eschner.

He also suggests wearing light colored clothing to easily spot ticks, use repellent and stay away from tall grass and heavily wooded areas.

And make sure to thoroughly check yourself and your pet for ticks before going inside the house.