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2015 Tick and mosquito outlook – Audio

2015 Wisconsin mosquito and tick outlook

PJ Liesch, Director, Insect Diagnostic Lab
Department of Entomology
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Phone (608) 262-6510

3:06 – Total Time
0:18 – Mosquitoes ready to roll
0:40 – Mosquito protection
1:02 – Ticks already active
1:15 – Three main types of ticks
1:46 – Tick precautions
2:19 – Where ticks live
2:42 – Protect pets too
2:56 – Lead out

Sevie Kenyon: Taking a look at insects in your outdoor activities, we are visiting today with PJ Liesch Department of Entomology, Insect Diagnostic Lab University of Wisconsin – Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon. PJ tell us what we should be looking out for right away this spring.

PJ Liesch: Coming up soon its about that time of year when the mosquitoes are going to pop out. And when it comes to mosquitoes in the state we actually have over fifty different species so they all have slightly different habits so there is actually some that spend the winter as adults, but it is usually right around the time of Memorial Day when they start coming out in force.

Sevie Kenyon: PJ what are some things people can do as they go out about their business?

PJ Liesch: If you can avoid times when mosquitoes are going to be out in force, such as early in the morning, late in the evening, maybe its just better to stay indoors or a stay in a screened in porch. Otherwise use repellants such DEET or wear long-sleeved pants and long-sleeved shirt and that will help prevent some bites as well.

Sevie Kenyon: PJ, maybe give us an idea of what the tick season may shape up to be

PJ Liesch: In terms of 2015 we seem to be having a little bit more tick activity compared to last year. So it is something that people need to be aware of and keeping an eye out for     

Sevie Kenyon: What kind of ticks do we have here in the state?

PJ Liesch: There’s a number of different tick species that we have. The main two or three that we are concerned with, we have a wood tick sometimes called a dog tick. We also have a deer tick, which can be common throughout the state and that’s the one we associate with Lyme disease.   And then we have a relatively new species called the Lone-Star tick, which shows up every once in a while and we don’t see too many each year but I did have my first Lone-Star tick come into the lab from the Madison area.

Sevie Kenyon: And PJ what should people do to protect themselves from ticks.

PJ Liesch: Generally the same kind of precautions are very similar for what we do for mosquitoes, so long-sleeved shirt long-sleeved pants, replants like DEET that work for mosquitoes also help prevent ticks. There also are some clothing treatments; you can treat a particular pair of pants and shoes and socks. That chemical usually lasts through several washings and so that’s an option if you spend a lot of time outdoors and then in general if you know that there is an area with a lot of ticks you avoid that area as well.

Sevie Kenyon: And maybe you should describe what tick habitat is.

PJ Liesch: I usually think of either wooded areas with shrubs, like honeysuckles and things like that, but also taller grassy areas where there is weedy growth. So for example if you were out hiking and maybe there was mowed hiking trail but there is tall grass next to it, look out for ticks in those areas.

Sevie Kenyon: and PJ how about our companion animals and ticks?

PJ Liesch: Dogs and cats if they are outside they can attract ticks as well and so that’s the type of thing that you really want to talk with your vet and make sure that you have your outdoor animal on some type of flee and tick medication.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting today with PJ Liesch, Department of Entomology Insect Diagnostic Lab University of Wisconsin Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and I’m Sevie Kenyon.