|Adult Deer Tick- Wikimedia|
We are not alone in this warm spell. The Northeastern United States is having its fifth warmest December on record. Minneapolis temperatures first reached zero on January 19th, only seen once before in over 140 years.
What effects can we expect from this?
- Mosquitoes, ticks and fleas may be out earlier (amen!) and even be more fruitful in multiplying.
- Plant pests may be out earlier and have a greater impact this year.
- Plants may come out of their winter protection and bud earlier. This always raises the concern about a late freeze killing off the buds and their fruits. The same applies to frogs and salamanders which might end hibernation and then face a killing frost.
Meanwhile you had better get out now and enjoy the warmth while you can. But remember, that faint crawling sensation might just be Rip Van Tickle waking up from his winter nap.