UW Professor says ticks are already out

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Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 --- 5:32 p.m.

Moms and dads -- check the kids for ticks, and check the house for holes.

Now that spring is here, the bugs are on their way.

"A lot of insects have become active here already this spring," said Ryan Neerland, Vice President of Kwik Kill Pest Control Inc.

Even though there's snow on the ground, Susan Peskewitz a UW Medical Entomology professor says parents should already start checking the kids for ticks this week.

"We found adult deer ticks out there moving around so they're already active. Once it gets up about 40 degrees that's enough for them to start moving around and looking for hosts," said Peskewitz.

Grassy areas may have wood ticks, but wooded areas is where deer ticks, known to carry Lyme Disease, are.

"Careful tick checks whenever kids come in from playing in wooded areas, to make sure that you remove them early. The earlier you can get them off, the less likely that infectious agent will be transmitted," said Peskewitz.

"By middle of June or so, your flying insects are back into season ... wasps and hornets," said Neerland.

There's a month or two before anything with wings tries to make it into the home, and Neerland suggests pest proofing can be DIY.

"Keeping woodpiles away from the house or trimming branches off of the roof line, correcting moisture problems that will help to deter insects..." said Neerland.

Families can even do their best to deter mosquitoes.

"Long grass -- keeping your yard well manicured, and also anything that holds water outside, whether it's buckets or tires that have standing water in it -- keep all that picked up," said Neerland.

Neerland adds that many people think calling an exterminator means using chemicals, but Kwik Kill says they and others often take a different approach -- like eliminating food sources, and sealing entrances to get rid of pests.