Cold snap won’t impact spring bugs much

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Forecasted highs only reaching 40 degrees over the next three days might feel more like winter again than spring.

While many people associate ticks and mosquitoes with warm weather, health officials say that’s not necessarily true.

“Ticks can become regularly or routinely active in at 40 to 45 degrees,” La Crosse County Health Educator Paula Silha said. “So we’re having that typically now.”

Experts say ticks are rarely noticed in the fall and winter simply because they are less active. That doesn’t mean bites and acquiring diseases from those bites won’t happen.

“We tend to see a lot of Lyme disease cases, I would say, throughout the year,” Megan Meller, Infection Preventionist with Gundersen Health System said. “Maybe not a lot, but we tend to see them kind of consistently.”

Once the snow melts, ticks start to move around more and can latch on to you when walking through leaves or on trails in wooded areas.

“We want to be aware that when we are out in the woods or out in the tall grass, that the ticks are looking for their first meal of the season,” Silha said.

Silha also says those that don’t go out and hike very much might think they’re safe from getting ticks, but that’s not true.

“They travel around on other animals. They might travel on deer, rabbits or mice,” she added.

One piece of good news, the cold will stop mosquitoes from hatching for a bit. However, with a wet fall and winter more are on the way.

“There’s still a lot of moisture out in the environment. Getting more snow means that there is more moisture in the environment. So we’ll continue to have good conditions for a hatch, a nice large hatch,” she added.

So whether it’s for ticks or mosquitoes, health professional say be properly prepared. They suggest wearing long sleeves and pants to help cover more skin.

Jeremy Culver

Jeremy Culver

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