Our winter's impact on the tick population

Phillip Shane with Priority Pest Control says tick activity has been on and off this winter.

"We continue to see tick activity. We had a day last week that was 60 degrees so ticks were out feeding and doing things along those lines at that point," said Phillip Shane. "We're going to be back up in to the 50s later this week and it'll be the same situation. They'll kind of pause their life for the cold and soon as they've got an opportunity to feed they'll be right back out after as soon as it gets above 30, 32 degrees."

The cold snaps we've had this winter does have a small effect on the tick population for the summer.

"It will bring the population down a little bit, the weak and the old situations along those lines," Shane said. "It won't kill them out completely, but the ones that find harbourage in the leaf litter will survive quite easily."

Ticks will hide out under leaves, areas with a lot of forage, holes, and under logs. So, before bringing that fire wood check for ticks. It's best to have your yard clear of debris now before warmer conditions arrive.

"Once they're under the leaf litter, and the layer of snow adds just another layer of insulation," Shane explained. "So, it keeps them warm. They have glycol and different things in their bloodstreams, not like us, which they can survive temperatures out in the cold much more readily."

The most popular tick in southwest Missouri is the deer tick which can more often than not carry diseases.

"Simply check yourself for ticks because they are still active. It doesn't matter that it's been cold outside," added Shane. "It's a much less chance, but still check and make sure your pets are taken care of along with yourself if you've been out in areas where there's possibly been ticks."

Read the original version of this article at www.kspr.com.