Although it isn’t over yet, and in Wisconsin we have learned not to count our insect population before it hatches, we can at least say that up until now we have had a much milder winter in Wisconsin this season. So what does that mean for the insect population and what does that mean for you and your family?
Many variables can affect an insect’s ability to survive the winter, including the amount of snow cover and the intensity and duration of cold temperatures. Typically, less consistent freezing temperatures mean more chance that certain insect species eggs and larva will survive, but it is hard to know for certain which insects truly survived the winter until spring arrives.
There is a very good chance that a one unpopular insect may arrive sooner and possibly thrive this spring and summer due to the mild winter, the mosquito, but that too will be dependent on several factors, including how much precipitation this spring brings. Another unappreciated pest has already been spotted this month in Wisconsin, the tick. Many ticks, especially the Deer tick can be active in lower temperatures. With more ticks and mosquitoes, there is more potential for higher cases of insect borne illnesses such as Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus.
Take precautions when heading outdoors with your family to enjoy the upcoming spring weather.
For protection against mosquitoes and ticks:
- Wear long- sleeved shirts and long pants when walking in potential tick and mosquito infested areas. Wearing lighter colors will help can make checking for both pests much easier. For added protection, tuck pants inside your socks.
- Stay on trails and avoid walking through woody, brushy or grassy areas where ticks are most common.
- Conduct a tick check on family members and pets after spending time outdoors.
- Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water where the larvae develop and need only about 1/2 inch of water to breed.
- Screen all windows and doors. Repair any tears or holes.
- Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when the majority of mosquitoes are most active.
- When outdoors for extended periods or during peak mosquito hours, wear long pants and sleeves and use an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus.
- If you are concerned about mosquito and tick activity on your property, contact a pest management company
The pest specialists at Safeway Pest Management are knowledgeable and ready to help with your tick or Mosquito problem. Give us a call at 262-679-4422 in Muskego, 262-354-3444 in Oconomowoc or toll free at 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at www.safewaypest.net and check out our Mosquito Seasonal Protection Special!