Do ticks survive winter?

The unfortunate answer is no. There are quite a few varieties of tick that take years to become adults. They survive the winter by hiding out in piles of leaf litter. The leaves insulate them from the snow and keep them warm enough to last through the coldest winter months. Remember though that if the temperature warms up to around 45 degrees, even in the middle of the winter, ticks can come out of their hiding places and start searching for a host. If you decide to take your dog on a walk during a warm winter day, there is always a chance that you could bring a few ticks home. You should always take a moment to check your dog and yourself for ticks.

Not all ticks go into hibernation. There are a few species that will simply cling to their warm blooded hosts and stay warm all winter long. They stay close to the skin and can easily survive negative temperatures. The most common hosts for these types of ticks are deer, elk and moose. If one of these types of tick fall off their host and you happen to by nearby, you could be the next target. Soft ticks use a different approach to overwinter. They find a nice warm underground burrow and go into a state of dormancy. If there happens to be rodents nearby, they will awaken to warm themselves up with a snuggle and a bite. So even though you might be able to enjoy wintertime without the irritating insects, you still need to be on the lookout for ticks.

niftyadminDo ticks survive winter?