What Happens To The Ticks In Oklahoma City During The Winter?

February 11, 2021

During the Oklahoma City summer, you're probably on the lookout for ticks. If you're not careful, you could end up with a tick on you, followed by a disease. In the winter, people stop worrying about ticks and let their guard down. Find out what happens to ticks in Oklahoma City during the cold weather. 

brown dog tick in fur

Ticks In Oklahoma City

Before you know about tick behavior during an Oklahoma City winter, you should know a little about the common area ticks. There are four ticks that you're likely to come across during the summer. First, there's the American dog tick. Although this tick can affect humans, it prefers to latch on to dogs and other small animals. To identify this tick, look for light spots on its back. Second, there's the brown dog tick. While this tick prefers dogs as a host, it can transfer from dogs to humans. They are often found in the ears of dogs, or between their toes. Next, there's the lone star tick. Like the Texas icon, this tick has a single white spot on its back. Only females have this mark. Finally, there is the blacklegged tick. Also known as deer ticks, these parasites often target humans. They don't have any obvious markings, and are darker than most other local tick species.

What Happens In The Winter?

Pests in Oklahoma City often head indoors to survive the winter. Therefore, you might make the mistake of thinking there will be no ticks when you go outdoors. Sadly, this isn't the case. You could come across ticks any time of the year, regardless of the reading on your thermometer. Ticks have various methods of surviving the cold, snowy weather. It depends on the species, but most ticks survive by either going dormant or finding a host. If dormant, ticks will hide in leaf litter. Snow falls on top of the litter, which leaves the ticks well-insulated. Soft-shelled ticks will sometimes stay under the soil in dens or burrows.

Will They Bother You In The Winter?

Sure, ticks are alive in the winter. But will they affect you? Generally, whether or not you should worry about ticks depends on the temperature. Some ticks can be active in temperatures as low as 45 degrees. If you're not cautious, you could bring home a parasite from your winter walk. When the ground is wet or icy, you are less likely to come across this parasite.       

The American dog tick and lone star tick don't usually stay active in the fall and winter. However, blacklegged ticks don't mind the cold. As long as it's above freezing temperature, these ticks could be out. They're also one of the most dangerous ticks because they spread Lyme disease. 

Preventing Winter Ticks

If you don't want to encounter a tick during the winter, you need to take action. When you go outside, dress in layers and leave minimum skin exposed. Although a bit of sun might tempt you to go for a hike in your tee shirt, doing so is an invitation to ticks. 
 
In your yard, remove all debris before the first frost. If you have leaf litter or dead branches, ticks may be hiding in wait. With fewer hiding places for ticks, they might spend the winter elsewhere.You can also make your yard less appealing to rodents and wildlife, who often have ticks hitchhiking on their backs. If you keep your yard well-maintained, you can keep pests and their parasites away.
 
As always, your best form of tick prevention is to work with a pest control company. For more advice or assistance, contact us at Dandi Guaranty.

Tags: tick control | tick prevention | dangers of ticks |

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