One of the good things about winter is that the bugs that bother us in the summer go away, right? Unfortunately, as winters on Long Island become milder, the tick population gets a chance to grow through the winter.
While mosquitoes are usually dormant until at least April, deer ticks can remain active in their adult stage from fall to spring as long as the temperature is above freezing. One of the most common ticks on Long Island, deer ticks, are one of the top hosts of Lyme Disease and other illnesses. A recent study found that around 60% of deer ticks in the northeast of the United States are carriers of Lyme Disease. This means there is still a chance of getting Lyme Disease if you are outside, even in winter.
Ticks survive the winter months by going dormant and hiding in undergrowth and leaves in wooded areas which become more insulated after it snows. So while you will see fewer active ticks during the winter, this doesn’t mean they are all dead and gone. Female ticks lay up to 3,000 eggs before the winter begins that will hatch in spring. Utilizing tick control measures means you can expect to see fewer egg-laying females come summer, resulting in fewer ticks the following year.
You can take preventative measures, like preventing eggs from hatching in places you don’t want them to, like your backyard.
Don’t let the cold fool you even if you’re enjoying the winter. Continue to check your pets for ticks, not to mention yourself, after being outdoors. Ensure your property is clear of debris and piles of sticks, brush, or leaves, so the ticks don’t have a place to go this winter. Continuing your tick control regimen can also decrease tick populations in your home.