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Warmer winter may bring more bugs in spring

Published: Jan. 27, 2020 at 5:52 PM EST
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While the warmer temperatures make the winter easier for humans to endure, that's not necessarily the case for your pets.

So far this winter, our average daily high temperature has been around 42°, and we’ve only had two stretches of multiple days below freezing.

That makes it difficult to solidly freeze the ground, so anything living in the soil stays alive. That's not good news for pet owners, as fleas and ticks haven't died off for the season.

Dr. Anne Bergstrom is a veterinarian, and she tells 13abc that she's still seeing dogs come in with fleas. She thinks if the winter stays warm, we'll see a rough spring.

"They're going to come out even more in force, especially as we hit the outside activities, we're going to see a lot more fleas and ticks, and that's going to make it even more important for animals to stay on flea and tick preventative year-round," Dr. Bergstrom said.

Dr. Bergstrom says that it's easier to prevent fleas than to get rid of them, so again, this is a good reminder to keep your pets on flea-preventer all year-round.

As for humans, local doctors have reported an active flu season so far, and 13abc meteorologists say it's been a warm winter. Could there be a connection?

Experts say that cold weather can break down your immune system, and make it easier for you to get sick. But can the warmer weather be connected to the spread of the flu or any disease? Experts say, probably not.

"Obviously, we know that there is a season for the flu, and it is the colder months, but a lot of other things go into play with that, too," Shaina Hochmuth, a nurse practitioner with Mercy Health, said. "People are cooped up in the house, the heat is on, and we tend to kind of maybe more incubate things that were maybe already there."

That answer only applies to the spread of illnesses like the flu. As far as how the warm weather affects allergies, we'll talk with an allergy doctor and bring you that answer Tuesday on Action News.