RHINELANDER - It's another sign spring is here, but not one that's quite as fun as fishing or enjoying the sunshine... we're talking about wood ticks.
As much as we love the onset of spring and the reappearance of the sun, this time of year also brings out one thing we're not so happy to see... wood ticks.
They hide under leaves, in the grass and on branches. And at the height of the season they practically rain down from the treetops.
The last few years Wisconsin has seen an increase in Lyme Disease.
"In 2010 there were 3,495 cases of Lyme Disease in Wisconsin, and that was up 35%," says Anne Ovsak, Assistant Director of the Oneida County Health Department.
The tick removal remedies we heard from our facebook friends ranged from drinking pickle juice, to burning them off.
"My mother would basically screw it out, you know, grab 'em and twist 'em out backwards. Or hit 'em with a match head; a hot match head once you blew it out," says Mitch Mode, Owner of Mel's Trading Post.
"I actually did grow up with burning it; taking a match, lighting it and then Mom sticking it to your skin and watching that tick back out," says Greg Graves, store manager at Mel's Trading Post.
But the health department and the CDC say the simplest method is best.
"The recommendation is to really just use a tweezers and remove it. By putting anything on it you could actually have the tick release more bacteria into your body," says Ovsak.
But there are a lot of measures you can take to prevent the bit in the first place.
"Without a doubt the Permethrin is the most effective. It's sprayed on the clothing, and it will last a minimum of two weeks," says Graves.
Another good tip is to stay on the trails when you're walking through the woods, rather than blazing your own path through thick vegetation where ticks just love to hang out.
"It's always a good idea to tuck in shirts. Tuck in cuffs and socks," says Graves.
It's important to remove a tick immediately, and keep an eye out for symptoms of infection.
"The most common sign you'll see is that bull's-eye rash that starts, headache, fatigue, arthritis-like joint pain," says Ovsak.
Make checking your kids over for ticks part of your nightly routine, so they can stay safe in these warm months to come.
EAGLE RIVER - Soccer players may need to wait for the snow on their fields to melt. But they know cabin fever is starting to set in, and it's the perfect time to capitalize on it.
The 7th annual Cabin Fever Indoor Soccer Tournament kicked off today at Northland Pines High School. The event raises money for the school’s boy's and girl's soccer teams.
"This was an opportunity to have an indoor soccer program so the kids can do something in the winter," says tournament director Steve Gilbert. "There was a need for a fundraiser so we thought why not have a tournament. There are other tournaments in the region, why not have one here with this tremendous facility that we have here at Pines."
Nearly 100 5th through 8th graders played in the co-ed soccer matches. Their participation makes it possible for the team to buy new equipment.
"It allows us to buy things that maybe the school can't afford to buy for them, so different types of warm-ups, equipment out on the field," says Gilbert. "One time we bought a camera for them so we could film their games. So it's going to good causes."
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
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