What Happens to Ticks in the Winter?

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Should I Worry About Ticks in the Winter?

The nights are getting longer, and temperatures are dropping – winter is in full swing. Since many bugs go into hiding during these chilly months, you’re probably also wondering what happens to those pesky ticks in the winter. It’s true; ticks are more active during the spring, summer, and fall. But that doesn’t mean your yard is completely tick-free while temperatures are sub-freezing. Below we’ve outlined all you need to know about how ticks behave in the winter months.

Do Ticks Die in the Winter?

While one might assume that ticks die off in the freezing weather, that is not true. Depending on the species or its life stage, ticks survive the winter months by latching onto a host or lying dormant in the woods. Animal fur provides a safe, warm habitat for the ticks to reside in during the winter months. The leaf litter present in the forest also provides protection from the cold. Soft-shell ticks even burrow themselves into the ground to stay away from the chilling weather. Snowfall adds a greater level of insulation to the dormant ticks.

Do Ticks Bite in the Winter?

For the most part, if temperatures are under 35 degrees Fahrenheit, ticks will remain inactive. However, if the winter tends to be milder, and ground levels begin to warm, ticks may venture out looking for a blood host. You probably won’t find any dog ticks during the chilly weather, but deer ticks are likely to creep out on a warmer winter day.

How to Avoid Ticks in the Winter?

Just because the temperature has dropped, that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Remember to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when venturing outside – an easy task to remember considering New Jersey winters average 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit! Raking leaves to eliminate leaf litter may also help to decrease the tick population and protect your family and pets. Ticks are skilled at transferring diseases to their desired host, so make sure you are taking proper protection, even during the cold.

Winter might slow ticks down, but they’re far from gone! Make sure you’re staying in the know and taking proper precaution to protect your family from ticks this winter. Perennial Lawn Care can help with continued pest repellent in your yard. Contact our team today to learn more.

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