During the winter, pests and insects are scarce. Some populations go into a hibernation state known as diapause, but others disappear completely. However, there are some pests that can remain active even during the winter, ticks included. We all know these blood-sucking pests are common in the summer, but they can still cause trouble during the colder months. Although bites are rare from a tick this time of year, mild winters in Albuquerque can lead to more tick activity than you may expect. For this reason, it’s crucial to remain vigilant against ticks year-round. The experts at Pest Defense Solutions are here to share everything you know about seasonal tick activity.
Tick Life Stages
A tick can live for two to three years. Throughout this period, they undergo four primary stages of development: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Each season plays an important role in their life cycle:
- Female ticks lay their eggs in the spring at the end of their lives. Each tick can lay thousands of translucent-looking eggs, which are found in clusters under leaves, bushes, and other places. When the tick eggs hatch, they become six-legged larvae.
- Nymph ticks are most active during the winter when the temperature exceeds 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Larvae seldom carry disease, and they become nymphs after feeding on their first host. During these cold months, the nymphs mostly rest under leaf litter.
- Nymphs become adult ticks after feeding on hosts for four to five days. During the spring, summer, and fall, these adult ticks will feed and mate before reaching the end of their lifespan.
Tick Bites in the Winter
Since winter ticks are usually dormant, or nymphs, bites are rare. As temperatures fall below 37 degrees Fahrenheit, adult ticks that can’t locate hosts retreat beneath leaf litter or other surface vegetation, becoming inactive. Ticks will resume looking for hosts in February or March unless it has been an unusually warm winter. If winter temperatures are mild, you could still be bitten by a tick. Even in the winter, it is possible to become infected by a tick, so it is crucial to avoid getting bitten year-round!
Need Help Getting Rid of Ticks?
Pest Defense Solutions knows ticks and the diseases they transmit are major concerns. Tick control experts are standing by to help you if you are concerned about ticks on your Albuquerque NM property. Contact us today to get started!