LA CROSSE, Wis. -

As the weather warms up, more people are spending time outdoors and that means it's tick season.

La Crosse Co. Vector Control specialists say the long winter didn't do anything to affect the tick population. They are expecting an average year.

Tick borne illnesses can be very dangerous for people and pets so if you are out in nature, do a thorough check when you're done.

And there are certain areas to avoid altogether. "Think about going into nature wearing lighter colored clothing, easier to spot a tick on you, these imature ticks though are so little, they're so tiny, it just really pays not to get into their environment, not to get in to the taller grasses," said Vector Control Manager Dave Geske.

Right now, La Crosse Co. is looking into just how much last year's hot, dry summer affected the tick population.