Besides about one week of cold, winter in Minnesota and Wisconsin has been warmer and significantly less snowy than normal. While some places in Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin have some snow, a vast majority of the region is looking pretty bare with some places grass is even green.

Things really kicked into high gear yesterday. Duluth didn't quite see record temps, but places like Brainerd, International Falls, Hibbing, Eau Claire, Minneapolis, and St. Cloud all set new high-temperature records as temps soared into the 50s.

With the warm and generally snowless conditions, it really looks and feels like springtime around the region - even though it is only the beginning of February. If it looks like spring and feels like spring, does that also mean we have to start thinking about other springtime things like ticks coming out already?

Do ticks come out during the winter?

Photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash
Photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash

Just like you may be enjoying the warmer weather, some varieties of ticks may be basking in the extra opportunity to be out and about this season.

READ MORE: Do ticks found in Minnesota and Wisconsin jump or fall out of trees and land on people?

Generally, the combination of cold weather and snow will drive ticks into hiding, but this hasn't been a normal winter.

Terminix points out ticks don't die off when winter rolls around. Many varieties will go into hiding, going dormant under leaves or other natural litter, or latching on to a host like a deer. Some also go underground to protect themselves against the cold.

While it is a little more complicated than this, the general rule of thumb is if there isn't snow cover, you might encounter ticks. Different varieties react differently to temperatures, but when ground temperatures start warming up above freezing, you can start seeing some types of ticks getting a little more active.

F&W Pest Control highlights that blacklegged ticks - which are more commonly known as deer ticks (the kind often associated with Lyme Disease) - will start getting active when temperatures get above 35 degrees if there isn't snow on the ground.

With temperatures getting above 40 degrees and the general lack of snow, it is quite possible you could have a run-in with this particularly dangerous type of tick right now in Minnesota or Wisconsin.

Here are the counties with the most reported cases of Lyme Disease in Minnesota:

Minnesota Counties With The Most Reported Lyme's Disease Cases

Lyme Disease cases have tripled in Minnesota since the year 2000. What counties are reporting the most confirmed cases?

Gallery Credit: Ken Hayes

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