Are Ticks Still A Problem In Winter?◀ Back To Blog
September 30, 2016
It makes sense to think that as the temperatures drop, and the frost starts appearing on the ground, that we don't need to worry about outside pests anymore. While this is true for most bugs, it is not true for ticks--specifically blacklegged ticks. So, if you plan to walk around in the woods, or have pets that go out into wooded or grassy areas, you should continue to take precautions against ticks.
5 Things You Should Know About Blacklegged Ticks (Deer Ticks)
While the blacklegged tick (ixodes scapularis) is most active during warmer months, they can still be active throughout the entire winter. There are many factors for this, but one significant reason is that ticks live on warm-blooded, furry animals. While freezing temperatures can kill ticks, it usually takes a sustained number of days with temperatures below 10°F to do so.
In fall, tick activity can actually ramp up. This is because all of those ticks are frantically looking for a warm host to live on and feed on through the winter. If they are unable to find a suitable host, they are left to seek shelter in a protected place. One primary place these creatures will hide is under a canopy of leaves laying on your lawn.
Deer ticks, as their name implies, can be found living on deer. Deer are not the only host they choose, but they are the most noteworthy because they have been found huddling in groups on deer, even in the dead of winter. If the weather warms up for a few days in the middle of winter, they can spread.
October is a key month in the life cycle of the deer tick. If the temperatures stay warmer for longer, it will allow more of these ticks to find a host before winter sets in. Since they have a two-year life span, this can cause an overlapping to occur, which causes tick populations to be even higher this time of year.
When more ticks survive the winter, the tick population increases overall. When the tick population increase, so does the number of reported cases of Lyme disease and other tick-related diseases.
It is vital to continue to keep watch for deer ticks on your skin, you kids' skin, and in the fur of your pets, all winter long. It is also vital to have ongoing pest services from a trusted pest professional. Having pest management services is more than a quality of life upgrade. Get your defense plan in place, starting in the spring, throughout the season, especially into the fall.