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What Happens to Ticks in the Winter?

Jan 16, 2023

One of the benefits of winter is that you no longer have to deal with many of the insects that are active in the spring, summer, and fall months. Have you ever wondered what happens to ticks specifically? Mosquito Hero has all the answers you’re looking for!


Where do ticks go?

During the colder months of the year, ticks will burrow themselves beneath piles of leaves or other insulating objects around them. Snow also helps insulate the ticks from freezing temperatures and cold winds. From here, some may enter a hibernation state called diapause. Once in diapause, ticks decrease their cellular freezing point and create a natural antifreeze by reducing water in their bodies. It is possible for some ticks to die off during those extremely colder months; however, female ticks are more capable of surviving until spring.


Are ticks active in the winter?

Only some ticks are active during the winter. Deer ticks and western black-legged ticks are two of the species that will stay active and search for a host when the first frost hits. It is common for ticks to latch on to outdoor animals to take advantage of their body heat and have a feasible food source.

If you live in a warmer climate, you will have to be on guard throughout the entire year to ensure your safety. Only consistent below-freezing temperatures will encourage ticks to either lay dormant in hibernation or search for a food/heat source. If there happens to be a warmer-than-usual week, it may fool the ticks into thinking winter is over and they will be on the hunt again, looking for a warm-bodied host.


Contact your local Mosquito Hero team today for more information!

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