WOODRUFF - After a fairly mild winter, there's a good chance pests will be more plentiful this spring. After a rough tick and mosquito season last year local bug and outdoor experts are warning this year may be even worse.
Snow may still cover the ground across parts of the Northwoods, but once that snow melts, it could get buggy.
"The numbers may be up for mosquitoes and ticks because we've actually had a pretty mild season for them," said DNR Forest Health Specialist Linda Williams. "Mosquitoes and ticks [spend] winter on the ground and we've had great snow cover all winter long up here in the Northwoods."
Very cold temperatures are needed to kill off some mosquitoes and ticks.
"In order to be killed off by cold, they have to be exposed to the cold," said Williams. "They have been covered by snow all winter. So very protected this winter."
It won't take long for ticks and even some mosquitoes to come out.
"As soon as the snow starts to melt and we start to see some bare ground mixed in with that snow, the ticks will be able to become active," said Williams. "So people should be watching for them as soon as the snow starts to melt up here."
The Tick-Borne Illness Center for excellence advises people to be watching for ticks.
"Be proactive when you are outside," said Tick-Borne Illness Center Office Manager Kathy McCaughn. "Do a daily tick check. They like your private area, they like your armpits and hairline. So do a tick check at night, do a tick check in the morning."
People can bring ticks into the center to have them tested.
"If you want to have the tick tested to see if it has any of the tick-borne illnesses, try to keep it as intact as possible," said McCaughn. "Don't like take a hammer to it once you get it off, removed from you. Which people have done."
To protect yourself, officials say to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts when going out into the woods. They also say to put bug spray with DEET it in on your clothes.