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Are Ticks Active In Winter?

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Ticks and Tick Behavior

Ticks are parasitic arthropods. This means they are a part of a family of insects, crustaceans and arachnids, that have segmented bodies and exoskeletons. Ticks feed on many different types of animals including mice, deer, cattle, birds and humans. If you live near large populations of mice, chipmunks and voles or like to go hiking or camping in forested areas, there’s a good chance you also live in an area with a large tick population that survives off the blood of these animals. 

While there are over 90 different tick species in the United States and most of these species do not transmit diseases to humans and dogs, the ones that do carry some pretty dangerous diseases that you will want to stay away from. 

Ticks and Cold Weather

Unlike many other insects, ticks don’t really die off with cold winter weather or hard freezes. Adult ticks do not hibernate. However, they do go into a state of dormancy that allows them to survive extreme winter temperatures. This means that if you are hiking in freezing weather you probably won’t run into any ticks, but that you can’t rely on freezing weather to get rid of, or cull, tick populations either. 

The risk of being bitten by a tick is highest in the early spring and summer (April through September) due to the fact that the weather is warm as well as the fact that the most active stages of a tick’s life cycle also take place during these warmer months. 

Where Do Ticks Go In The Winter?

Ticks are adept at finding shelter in decaying vegetation in order to survive the cold months. They are also skilled at finding a warm host and riding out the coldest of temperatures that way. 

When temperatures hit 35 degrees or below, ticks go into dormancy. When the weather rises to 45 degrees or above, ticks will return to being active and will seek out a blood meal. 

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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