Do ticks die in winter?
If temperatures drop to between -2- and 14-degrees Fahrenheit, ticks will die. In temperatures ranging from 15 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, ticks will go dormant. When temperatures rise above freezing, the ticks can become active again. It’s like they freeze and then thaw out.
Winter is different in all states, making tick activity different also. For example, a tick in upstate New York, where it snows every year, will encounter fewer ticks in Winter than someone living in Florida, where temperatures rarely fall below 32 degrees.
How Ticks Avoid Death
Ticks have tricks that help them survive. One trick involves the landscape. Ticks are very good at finding places in the ground that protect them from the winter elements. They hide out in the soil, covered by leaves, grasses, and twigs that provide warmth. Even layers of snow can provide insulation from winter weather.
The tick’s body is tiny, but its cells contain water. Amazingly, ticks can decrease the amount of water in their cells, making it easy for them to survive. The less water in their cells, the fewer chances they will freeze.
It is safe to assume as soon as temperatures are warm enough, ticks will be searching for a warm body. Don’t let that body be yours. Protect yourself, even in the Winter.
Tick Bite Prevention in Winter
Below are some tips for preventing tick bites in the Winter and any other time of the year.
Wear the Right Clothing
The good news about outdoor activity in the wintertime is that you will be wearing more layers of clothing than you do in the summer. The more layers, the better. Layers are barriers between you and a tick. Even if it gets onto your clothing, it’s going to take a while to reach your body.
It’s always been a myth that ticks fall out of trees onto a person’s body. While ticks can climb to higher locations, it is not common. That’s because ticks only climb to find a warm host. Mice, moles, voles, rabbits, deer, and humans are more accessible on the ground. That doesn’t mean stop wearing a cap outdoors, however. Cover all parts of your body whenever possible.
Wear Tick Repellent
Tick and bug sprays are not harmful to humans when sprayed outside your clothing. Most are not dangerous, even when applied to your skin. Using bug repellent can save you a lot of pain and discomfort that can appear with Lyme disease, which is transmitted by a deer tick.
Check Your Body and Clothes
When you return home from the outdoors, check all pieces of your clothing for ticks. In case you miss a tick on your clothing, you can throw them in the dryer on high heat for at least ten minutes. Also, take a shower and while doing so, check your whole body for a tick or ticks.
Don’t forget to check the parts that aren’t always visible, like armpits, ears, belly buttons, and hair.
Check Your Pets
What you do for tick prevention for yourself, also do for your pets. Spray them with repellents before they go outdoors, check their bodies for ticks when you return, and bathe them. You can also apply tick repellent monthly on your pets. Veterinarians can administer a Lyme disease vaccine to your pets that will keep them safe from the disease. However, it won’t stop ticks from attaching to the animal.
What Happens If a Tick Bites You in Winter?
If you find a tick attached to your skin, remove it and store the tick in an air-tight container. Make an appointment with your doctor and take the tick with you.
If a deer tick bites you in the Winter but you do not find a tick and never have a rash, symptoms will appear in stages. The first symptom may be a red rash. This is a sure sign of Lyme disease, and you should seek treatment right away. Unfortunately, not everyone will get a rash.
Early-stage Lyme disease symptoms include headaches, stiff neck, swollen glands, flu-like symptoms, swelling in your joints, anxiety, and depression. You do not have to experience all the symptoms. Just one can be a sign of Lyme disease.
The Problems That Arise with Winter Tick Bites
Too often, problems arise after someone is bitten by a tick infected with Lyme disease but who does not find a tick or see a red rash. These problems occur innocently but can lead to devastating consequences.
- You don’t know to seek medical treatment because you didn’t see a tick or a rash.
- When symptoms appear, you can’t connect them with Lyme disease. Instead, you assign them to some other reason. For example, you may think a migraine is due to stress or excessive fatigue is due to working overtime.
- If you go to the doctor about your symptoms, the doctor misdiagnoses them and does not test for Lyme disease.
- If the doctor does test you for Lyme disease, only two tests are available. Both are unreliable and often return false-negative results. The ELIZA and the Western Blot only test for Lyme disease antibodies. If the antibodies are inactive at the time, you will receive a negative test result. But you may still have Lyme disease.
- Suppose a doctor tests you for Lyme disease, and you receive a positive result. In that case, the only treatment a general practitioner can provide is the administration of antibiotics, which is often not enough to eliminate Lyme infection.
Avoid the Problems with Winter Tick Bites
To ensure you get an accurate diagnosis and treatment with advanced testing and Lyme disease protocols, you can contact a Lyme-literate doctor. They are specialists in the field of Lyme disease and can apply numerous therapies to cleanse Lyme bacteria from your blood and ease your symptoms.
Contact a Lyme literate doctor today if you have symptoms without a confirmed cause. You deserve to know the source of your symptoms and how to get rid of them.