While you might think that you only have to worry about ticks in the summer, these pesky parasites can, unfortunately, stick around throughout the colder months in Massachusetts. With all of the frustrating bites and potentially dangerous diseases that ticks can transmit, you should be aware of how and when ticks become active in winter, the damage they can cause, and how you can protect yourself, your family, and your furry friends from ticks throughout the year. Keep reading for some helpful information on winter tick activity from your friends at Sea of Green Lawn Care!
Where Do Massachusetts Ticks Go In The Winter?
Unlike many other insects that hibernate, overwinter as eggs, or move to warmer areas during the winter months, ticks can stay active as long as temperatures are not too cold. At temperatures below 40 degrees, most ticks will curl up in leaf litter and enter a state of semi-hibernation. But, when temperatures warm up slightly or if the area experiences a prolonged warm spell, ticks can become active again and threaten humans and animals alike. Blacklegged deer ticks, which are notorious for spreading Lyme disease, are especially problematic when deer are more active in the winter. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s warm enough for you to be outside comfortably, it’s warm enough for ticks, and you should take protective measures and check for ticks after spending time outdoors.
How Ticks Can Affect You And Your Family
Although you probably already know that ticks can spread Lyme disease, you might not know that there are a lot of other diseases ticks can transmit to humans. Conditions such as anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and babesiosis have mild side effects and can be easily treated if identified early. However, serious symptoms like fever, muscle or abdominal pain, skin rashes, and nausea can occur if a tick bite goes unnoticed for a long period of time. This is why it’s important to be aware of tick activity in the winter when most people don’t think ticks are out and about and continue your usual tick prevention methods to protect yourself and your family.
Ticks And Your Pets
Just like you, your pets can be seriously affected by ticks and their bites. Dogs and cats can get Lyme disease and other potentially dangerous diseases, so it’s important to keep a close eye on your pets throughout the winter, especially if they have been walking or playing in wooded areas or leaf piles where ticks like to hang out. Additionally, you should continue your regular preventative methods or tick treatments throughout the winter to make sure your pets are protected.
A Few Tips For Keeping Ticks And The Diseases They Spread At Bay
- Be sure to check yourself, your children, and your pets thoroughly if you spend time outside, especially during warmer weather in the winter.
- If you find a tick, promptly remove it with tweezers by pulling it straight out with even pressure.
- Make sure to record what day you found it, where it was located, and save the tick if your doctor or vet needs this information.
- If you do find a tick, keep a close eye out for unusual symptoms or behavior that could indicate a tick-borne disease or illness.
- Stay away from densely wooded areas, leaf piles, and other woodland debris that can harbor ticks when outside. Try to keep your yard free of this sort of debris as well.
- Consider using tick repellants if you are going to be spending time outdoors, and wear light-colored long pants and long sleeve shirts to make ticks easier to spot. It can also help to tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from getting access to your skin.
For All Your Massachusetts Tick Control Needs, Call Sea Of Green Lawn Care
If you’re experiencing an infestation of ticks in your yard or you want to prevent a future infestation, you need to call the professionals at Sea of Green Lawn Care. While you can keep ticks at bay using repellant sprays, flea and tick collars, and keeping your yard picked up, the best way to prevent ticks from biting you, your family, and your furry friends is to use preventative treatments. Our tick control program consists of four treatments from late spring to late fall that targets ticks at every stage of their life so that you can enjoy your yard and home without worrying about these pesky parasites.