Does "killing frost" kill deer ticks?
If you think that recent nighttime temperatures dropping into the 20's is going to kill off the adult deer ticks crawling just about everywhere these days... well, think again! The killing frost may finish off your garden and the pesky mosquitoes that have remained around, but not the deer ticks. These ticks just don't die from the cold.
Instead, they typically retreat daily into the leaf litter to stay hydrated. Then, they'll climb back onto knee-high vegetation any time temperatures are above freezing, hoping to latch on to a passing deer, dog, cat, or human. To some, these ticks seem tough; they'll be out there until the ground freezes. And they'll be back as soon as it thaws. You need to know this so you're not caught un-prepared.
You may be wondering what does kill these persistent creatures. Adult deer ticks die when they finally run out of energy reserves acquired back when they were nymphs. This typically happens in the following May. But May is when the poppy seed-sized nymphs become active, so there really are very few "tick free" breaks during the year.
Ticknado! Scarier than Sharknado!
Just when you thought that the bloodsuckers of summer should be gone, some come back. TICKS. That's right! Not all types ... but one type that's especially dangerous - adult blacklegged ticks. Rather than being killed off by cooler nighttime temperatures -- even a frost or a freeze -- adult blacklegged tick populations are just rev-ving up, and they can strike ... well, like a Ticknado! And similar to being prepared for any other natural disaster, NOW is when you should have your tick bite protection toolkit ready and implemented.
Brrrrr... Polar "Vorticks"!
Have you been wondering (hoping) if these brutal polar vortex episodes sweeping the eastern half of the nation are freezing the palps off of blacklegged (deer) ticks? It’d be nice, right? Read more about Polar Vortex temps and how they impact ticks in our Tick Note: Polar Vorticks!