Few insects are quite so reviled as ticks. You can find plenty of people who love mantids, bees, spiders, tarantulas… there are even people who’ll defend wasps. But it’s hard to imagine that there’s anyone who considers ticks to be anything but a scourge. All these creepy little crawlies do is suck blood and spread disease.
And they can strike at any time.
One of the most common -and unfortunate- misconceptions about ticks is the idea that they’re only active during the hot months. While it’s true that some ticks go dormant in the winter, there are still many species which remain active year-round. This includes species like the deer tick, which can easily spread diseases like Lyme Disease to pets or people.
No matter the time of year, it’s important to maintain tick awareness when you’re outdoors!
Why You Must Beware Of Ticks In Winter
So, most insects go dormant – or even die off entirely – when the weather turns cold. How do certain ticks survive?
It’s a combination of factors. For one, they’ve evolved a survival strategy that involves staying low to the ground and making their “homes” in small patches of leaf litter or half-rotted logs. This litter is sheltered from the cold, moist, biologically active, and usually even creating small amounts of heat as a result. They can keep themselves sheltered much more easily than other insects.
Plus, ticks are incredibly lazy hunters. They simply hang out on blades of grass, branches, bushes, fence posts, and other stationary objects, and they wait for a good target to brush against them. This means they’re expending almost no energy, and what energy they have can be used to keep themselves warm.
The only time a tick won’t be hunting is if the temperatures are below freezing. That’s when they’ll retreat to their nest and wait. But as soon as the temperature rises, they’ll be out looking for blood.
It’s also worth mentioning that climate change plays a part here. As summers get longer, and winters become both milder and shorter, that’s only going to encourage tick population booms. We’re already anecdotally seeing reports of more ticks active in wooded areas, and it wouldn’t surprise us if it were true.
Protecting Yourself From Ticks In Winter
The one piece of good news here is that it’s going to be much more difficult for a tick to attack humans during the winter since we stay bundled up. With little or no exposed skin, they have no way of biting. However, they may still end up within your clothes whenever you go out into the snow! With so many folds and pockets and layers of clothing, you can easily bring back some uninvited guests. And, give them a nice warm new home in the process.
If you’ve been walking around outdoors in areas you think would have ticks, the best course of action is to take everything you were wearing and immediately throw it into the clothes dryer. Ticks are easily killed by dehydration, so a drying cycle on high heat will kill off any hitchhikers.
Of course, this isn’t true for your dogs, cats, or other pets. As in the summer months, you’ll want to regularly check them for ticks whenever you come home from walks. Remember: tweezers are the best way to remove ticks from people or pets!
Tick Treatment for Commercial and Residential Properties
Expert Pest Control, New England’s #1 partner for commercial and residential tick infestation removal services, is native to the area. We have been providing tick lawn treatment and eco-friendly tick spray options to property owners and managers to prevent an outbreak of ticks in residential communities. We help prevent you from potentially contracting tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, by controlling the spread of ticks on your grounds.
It may be chilly outside, but you should still be in the mindset that ticks are on the prowl. Contact Expert Pest Control to schedule regular tick sprays. Help protect your property year-round from seasonal insects, and even ticks in winter.
Call us at 800-253-3093, or request a quote below, to learn about our full service, customer-centric pest control solutions. Find out why Expert Pest Control is trusted by more residential and commercial property owners to get rid of ticks in winter throughout New England. Contact Us Today!