Open main menu

Ticks die in fall season?

Do ticks die off in fall season? 

The answer to this depends on where you are, the species of tick, and the temperatures. In other words, based on my experience there is no one answer to this question. Some ticks become inactive in colder weather and then emerge immediately after it thaws. Others are seasonal in the spring, summer, or fall depending on the species and the location and temperature range. I work (and play/hike) mostly in NC, and can say from experience that I have encountered ticks almost every month of the year. Peak activity in my local area is summer, but I regularly work from the TN border in the mountains down to the Outer Banks and the variation in activity of these little critters is amazing. Best advice is pretreat every piece of clothing with Sawyer permethrin or an equivalent. Nothing works like that stuff.

Cold kills some.  The colder the winter is, the more die off.  But if there is a heavy snow, that insulates them and helps them survive.  So this year in New England we had an unusually cold winter, but also lots of snow, so we still had lots of ticks in the spring.

Regardless of the weather or the time of year, it's good to be wary of ticks.  As DrPhun mentioned, snow can insulate ticks.  So can decaying leaves.  When the fallen leaves begin to decay, they create a warm, moist layer under the frozen surface where ticks can survive through the winter.  In Massachusetts, I have pulled ticks off my dog after walking down the middle of a road on a snowy / icy day.  No weather really 100% protects from these little parasites.

September 24, 2020
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply