Wisconsin tick population escapes winter unscathed

File photo of deer ticks. (Wisconsin DNR)
File photo of deer ticks. (Wisconsin DNR)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – An insect expert says Wisconsin’s tick population came through the harsh winter relatively unscathed.

UW-Madison professor of entomology Susan Paskewitz says she’s heard from many people who hope the cold winter months might have put a dent in the state’s population of disease-carrying ticks.

But Paskewitz tells Wisconsin Public Radio that deer ticks in Wisconsin probably have adapted to cold winters. She says Wisconsin’s ticks keep warm and cozy, even in harsh conditions.

And Paskewitz says there’s already evidence that deer ticks will be back. In a survey of a small area in Dane County in early April, she and her team picked up 50 ticks.

Paskewitz says Wisconsin’s ticks are more likely to carry Lyme disease than they were in the past.

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