Yes; ticks survive cold weather. They hide under leaf litter and other brush for protection and reemerge as soon as conditions improve. That means if the snow melts and temperatures increase even only slightly, ticks will be on the hunt again for a host. During the late fall and early spring months when the temperature is colder, we are dealing with adult deer ticks who search for larger hosts such as humans, deer, dogs, and cats. In the fall, the female deer ticks use this last blood meal in order to lay an egg mass containing thousands of eggs in the early spring. Property sprays that safely eliminate ticks are important to control the future population and are helpful in Lyme disease prevention.
Since there are ticks active in cold weather, her are 4 tips to stay vigilant in the fight against ticks and the illnesses they spread:
- Deer ticks (aka blacklegged ticks) take 2 years to complete their life cycle. Both nymph and adult stages transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis.
- Adult males and females are active October-May, as long as the daytime temperature remains above freezing. They can be found about knee-high on the tips of branches of low growing shrubs.
- Keep a look out for unfed female deer ticks. They are easily distinguished from other ticks by their orange-red body.
- The single most effective way to reduce deer ticks in your yard is by insecticide applications. Continuing these sprays during the seasons when ticks are most active will reduce the population on your property and protect your family.
Download our free tick identification card to print and keep nearby to easily identify ticks you may find. Happy Outdooring!