Mild Winter Means More Ticks

Tick embedded in someone's skin.

For those who are not the biggest fan of Old Man Winter, much of this year’s weather has been a dream come true. Very little snow and warmer than average temperatures thus far has ensured that taking your daily walk with your favorite puppy pal didn’t have to stop for the season. Many of us have been able to leave waterproof boots and our warmest duds in the closet more often than not. It turns out that this isn’t just great news for those who do not embrace all that winter has to offer, but it’s great news for ticks as well.

Milder temperatures in November, December, and January have led to a much higher than average tick population for this time of the year. Ticks generally are dormant all winter underneath several inches of snow just waiting for spring to arrive. However, this year they have been able to stay relatively active and wait for their opportunity to look for their lunch wherever they might find it. This can mean dangerous conditions for pets that haven’t been properly treated for flea and tick control, but it can also mean danger for their owners. Mild winter conditions can also mean a much larger tick population in the spring when more of your skin is likely to be exposed increasing the risk of a tick bite.

A tick bite can mean more than just the uncomfortable “ick” factor that most of us get at the very thought. Ticks are known carriers of several potentially dangerous diseases that can be transmitted to both humans and pets such as spotted fever and tularemia among others. The most talked about and feared of all of the tick-borne illnesses is Lyme disease affecting around 30,000 people per year. Many of these diseases are accompanied by high fevers and rashes. Suspected illness due to tick bites should be addressed by a medical professional immediately.

We can’t control Mother Nature, but we can protect ourselves and our pets from ticks all year long. Make sure that even on the warmest days, shoes and socks, a sweatshirt or jacket, and long pants are worn when out and about. Upon returning, take a few minutes to check your clothing and skin to make sure that you did not bring any ticks into the house. Throwing clothes into the dryer on normal heat for 15 or 20 minutes will kill any ticks that might have been missed. Pets can be protected by making sure that they are continually up-to-date on flea and tick treatments under the supervision of a veterinarian.

There is good news this winter, though. American Pest Solutions can help you combat ticks once spring arrives. Our Mosquito Guard pest control system helps keep the tick and mosquito population down on your property by treating the places where these pests live and breed. By treating these areas, more eggs, larvae, and adults are eliminated leading to less of a threat from painful, itchy bites and the possibility of disease. Protect your family by giving us a call today to set up your initial inspection.