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Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Print


Black Swallowtail butterfly is common in Wisconsin.

The butterfly commonly feeds on many different members of the parsley family, including parsley, carrots, dill, and parsnip. It may also feed on Common Rue.

Feeding on members of the parsley family could make this butterfly a pest for avid herb raisers if you would see heavy butterfly travel.  Although, they are not normally an issue.

The best time to look for them is from June 1 – August 1. Higher numbers are always seen during July.

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Banded Woollybear Caterpillar

Banded Woollybear Caterpillar

Banded Woollybear Caterpillar Print


The banded woollybear caterpillar – moth can be found nearly everywhere in Wisconsin. It feeds on low growing plants but is not a pest to garden and farm crops.

The caterpillar will, however, eat a little of your herbs.  Nothing much to really call it a pest, but it should be noted to rehome them if you find them hanging around your herb plants.

The caterpillar is generally found during the autumn months and doesn’t sting or bite when picked up. However, the little bristle hairs can get under your skin and cause irritation.

Some people once thought that the thickness of different bands of the bristle hair would tell how hard or cold the winter was going to be.  Turns out, that is an old wives’ tale.

The caterpillar turns into the Isabella Tiger Moth.

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Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings

Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings - Common Ticks in Wisconsin

Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings

After long winters, the first thing I want to do is get out and enjoy the weather and fresh air. Heading through the long grass normally knocks off some unpleasant creepy-crawlies onto my pants. Ticks!  

 

As someone that spends a great amount of time around woods photographing wildlife and scenery, it is important to know a little something about ticks and preventing tick bites and embeddings.

 

How Many Tick Varieties are There?

Did you know there are many types of ticks? 16 varieties in Wisconsin alone, or so I was told from a retired entomologist on one of my birding outings.  Here I just thought there were a few.  Many more than I had even thought.



How do Ticks Travel?

A myth is that ticks jump. They do not. They crawl and fall as I like to tell people. When I am out walking on the trails I hear all the time watch out for flying ticks.  People must think they fly for some reason.  I can assure you unless there is some bear hiding in the woods with a stockpile of ticks and a sling slot – they do not fly.


When Are Ticks Out?

Ticks are out spring through fall, with the height months being June, July, and August in Wisconsin.  For me, it just happens to be all the months we don’t have snow on the ground.  For me, I will take little extra precautions and get out and explore anything that I can.

Common Ticks in Wisconsin


Tips For Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings

1.) Tuck your shirt into your pants and your socks over your pants. Leaving little skin exposed. If you wear light colored clothing, you can see the ticks easily.

2.) Wear repellent with DEET or Permethrin on the outside layer of your clothing.

3.) Walk in the middle of trails avoiding long grass and bushes. For people like myself, this is nearly impossible. I am an off-trail adventuring gal. So, protection and education are my friends.

4.) Check your clothing and skin before returning to your vehicle and again at home.

 



Three Very Common Ticks

1.) Wood Tick

Wood Tick Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings I Nikki Lynn Design

Another name for this tick is the American dog tick. Give you two guesses why they are called that. It is one of the most common types of ticks in Wisconsin and you guessed it, often found on dogs after hunting and frocking in the long grass.





2.) Deer Tick

Deer Tick Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings I Nikki Lynn Design

Deer ticks are known to transmit Lyme Disease. They are the smallest of the tick varieties.


3.) Lone Star Tick

Lone Star Deer Tick Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings I Nikki Lynn Design

The female can be easily spotted by the white spot on her back.

This bugger has me a little concerned. Note the word concerned, and not feared. Reports have surfaced and been confirmed through a variety of sources that a bite from THIS variety of tick can cause an allergy to proteins. Meaning, a person could never eat animal protein in their life again.  It doesn’t happen to everyone and around me, I haven’t ever seen one in my area of Wisconsin. Scary, worth knowing about for travel purposes but the allergies are still rare at this point.


Will The Threat of Ticks Prevent Me From Enjoying the Great Outdoors?

No. Even though a person could place great fear in such a little creature, I don’t plan on leaving the woods or tall grass behind anytime soon. In the area I live, I haven’t seen a Lone star tick but in other Wisconsin counties, I have. The deer tick is my main concern around here, for Lyme Disease. Just make yourself and others aware of them and how you can protect yourselves, children, and pets.