January 6, 2019
Recently, a customer reached out with a great question about ticks and if her dogs and family are at risk of being bitten this winter. The answer unfortunately is YES!
The Black-legged or Deer tick, which carries Lyme Disease, is active in the winter especially if there has not been a killing frost. They do not die with frost, but the colder it is in the winter, the more they stay hidden. Deer ticks retreat to the leaf litter layer to stay hydrated and wait out the cold weather. They resurface when the temperature is above freezing.
To protect your family and pets, you need to eliminate or reduce places around your home where ticks can shelter from the cold like leaf litter. They also live on firewood and will enter a house that way, or under bark on trees.
The University of NH Cooperative Extension offers a fact sheet with more information.
Also, to truly kill a tick, it needs to be put in rubbing alcohol. Flushing no longer is a true death sentence for these unwanted buggers.