Subzero streak: What survives? - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Subzero streak: What survives?


Milwaukee (WISN) -- There may be some long-term effects from this deep freeze, and they could show up in your backyard.

A week-and a half of subzero wind chills doesn't seem to be bothering a wild turkey or a screech owl that WISN 12 News' Kent Wainscott found outside.

But that's not the case for insects and other things that live in the ground -- that in many cases are the food source for those bigger animals.

"Those animals could be affected very adversely by this prolonged cold snap. Then that, in turn, affects those animals that feed on them," said Tom Finley, director of education at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.

If you're thinking that maybe there's a silver lining to this deep freeze like, for example, fewer mosquitoes come summer, well, think again.

"This kind of weather shouldn't affect that terribly much," Finley said.

Japanese beetles are at risk after thriving last year following a warmer winter.

"The grubs of Japanese beetles that live in the lawn didn't die off. So I'm hoping this has killed off a lot of those populations, so people won't have as much of a problem this year," said Carrie Hennessy, a horticulturist at Johnson's Nursery.

As for plants and trees, Hennessey said there is little concern. Most should be fine, because the subzero streak is hitting early while most are dormant.

As long as the deep freeze doesn't linger too late in the season, "I do think it is early enough that things will be OK," Hennessy said.

As for the plants in your garden, Hennessy said, if they were well-watered heading into winter and you put down some mulch, they'll be just fine.

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