Do you like to enjoy the great outdoors during the winter months? If you are a winter hiker, downhill skier, cross-country skier, or just someone who enjoys playing in the snow, be aware that ticks are now considered a year-round issue. According to recent news reports, ticks are becoming more resilient and are surviving the winter months, even in the harsh northeast corridor.
Tick expert Dr. Thomas Mather from the University of Rhode Island reports that ticks that were once only considered a nuisance in the spring and summer months are now active during the colder winter months, too. He goes on to say that, “Tick season is pretty much every season.” This is alarming news for many outdoor enthusiasts who see winter as a safe time to venture into the wilderness without the fear of being bitten and contracting a tick-borne disease.
The science behind why this phenomenon is occurring is still being studied, but it is believed to be due in large part due to the increasing population of the white-tailed deer. These deer are a favorite meal for the deer tick. The ticks stay on the deer for 5 to 7 days. After filling up on blood, they drop off and stay under leaves and snow, where they hibernate until spring. If there is little to no snow cover and temperatures rise above freezing, it is possible to find an active adult tick searching for a host on a warm winter day, according to experts.
Due to this information, we encourage our readers to continue vigilance during the winter months for the signs of a tick bite and the physical ailments that come with tick-borne diseases. This is especially true if you spend time outdoors and notice a change in your health. As always be safe, and call Pest-End or our sister company Pro-Tech Lawn Care if you have any questions. You can reach us at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.