Mosquitoes and ticks bugging people in northeast Wisconsin

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- You might be hearing more buzzing in some parts of Wisconsin. Biologists report more mosquitoes this summer, as many survived the mild winter.

Out at the Barkhausen Waterfoul Preserve, it's not more buggy than usual.

“It has been dry, it's been warm, but not crazy warm, so we haven't seen a bunch of mosquitoes like you sometimes hear about in other parts of the state,” said Jason Petrella, program and natural resource coordinator for Brown County Parks.

“People have been coming in with reports of being bit by mosquitoes, but they have not contracted any of the mosquito transmitted illnesses,” said Karissa Singleton, infection preventionist at Bellin Health.

The most common mosquito-borne illness in this area is West Nile Virus, but there's been no reports in humans here, yet.

“People come in because they’ve been traveling, they’ve been in the woods, they’re not using the prevention methods to prevent mosquito bites, and are coming in either concerned of having contracted an illness or having a cellulitis related to an existing bug bite,” said Singleton.

Experts say the best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites is by using insect repellent.

It also protects you from tick bites. Singleton says tick-borne illnesses have been on the rise in Wisconsin for the last three years.

“We have seen through our Bellin Health system cases of Lyme disease, cases of anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis,” said Singleton.

Those diseases have symptoms similar to Lyme disease including fever, a skin rash, and joint pain.

To help prevent tick bites and treatment, Brown County Health has tick kits available at the Barkhausen Waterfoul Preserve. Inside the pouch you will find a tweezers, Bandaids, and bug repellent.

“Big thing I recommend to people, if you think you have a deer tick on you, and you're concerned about lyme disease; keep that tick, go see your health care provider and they can help determine if it’s something you should be concerned with,” said Petrella.