Ticks and mosquitoes become more prevalent as the temperatures rise.
The Centers for Disease Control say tick-borne illnesses have tripled in the U.S. and Wisconsin is among the states with the most reported cases of these diseases.
Entomologist also known as a bug expert Michael Draney says as a child playing with insects is what made him tick.
And that may be why he knows so much about them today including why more and more continue to pop up in northeast Wisconsin.
“Ticks like to be where the deer are and where the mice are,” says Draney. “In particular, old field areas as well as places between field and forests, right at the edge of field and forests and we have a lot of that habitat in Wisconsin.”
And summertime is when those ticks and mosquitoes like to come out.
“The ticks are mostly just trying to time out their life cycle to mammals they’re more active when it’s warmer and they’re are less active when it’s colder because they adjust to the same temperature as the environment,” says Draney.
But if you know where to go you can avoid areas where there’s an uptick of the pests.
“At the wildlife sanctuary itself we don’t have a lot of problems with ticks because our soils are so wet,” says Bay Beach Wildlife director Mike Reed. “They freeze so hard during the winter they don’t have really good over winter survival, but we do have some.”
Reed’s advice is to stay out of the grass and the sand.
“Ticks are usually worse in sandy, soil, grassy areas along the edge of forest, even though they’re called wood ticks, they typically aren’t in the deep woods,” says Reed. “They’re typically on the edges of the woods, in the grass, in the shrubs, in the lower shrubs, along the edges of woodland. That’s typically where you pick up the tick.”
Reed says if you plan on hiking or being outdoors, wear repellent along with pants and a long-sleeved shirt.