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Do Ticks Die in the Winter?

Do Ticks Die in the Winter?

It’s the middle of winter and you’re probably wondering if those pesky ticks are still alive. Will they make it through the cold weather? Can you still get bitten by them? In this epic guide, we will answer all of your questions about ticks and winter. We’ll cover everything from how they survive to whether you’re still at risk for Lyme Disease. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about ticks in the winter!

Ticks in General

Ticks are arachnids, related to spiders and mites. They have four pairs of legs as adults, and they lack antennae. Ticks are parasites, meaning they feed on the blood of other animals such as birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even humans.

Ticks can be found in a wide variety of habitats worldwide including forests, grasslands, deserts, wetlands and urban areas. Some species may prefer different types of habitat or times of year for activity. For instance some ticks are active during warmer months while others can remain active all year round in mild climates.

Ticks in General

When a tick finds a suitable host it will latch onto its skin using its hook-like mouthparts to penetrate the skin. It then inserts an anticoagulant into its host’s blood so it can feed for several days without being detected. Once it is finished, the tick will drop off and look for another host.

Most ticks undergo four stages of development in their life cycle: egg, larvae, nymph and adult. The duration of each stage varies depending on species, temperature and humidity. After a female lays her eggs, they typically hatch within two weeks into larvae which must find a suitable host before molting into the nymph stage. Nymphs also need to find a host before molting into adults which have fully developed mouths and must mate with males to reproduce.

Ticks can carry a wide range of diseases which they may transmit to humans and animals while feeding. Prevention is the best way to protect against tick-borne illnesses, and involves avoiding potential habitats, wearing protective clothing when outdoors, using insect repellent, checking for ticks regularly and removing any ticks found quickly with tweezers. [1], [2], [3], [4]

Can Ticks Survive the Winter Weather?

As you can see ticks are awful, hardy creatures able to survive a variety of temperatures and habitats. This begs the question, can ticks die in the winter?

The short answer is unfortunately not always. Depending on the species, some ticks can survive temperatures as low as 25°F. This means that in many parts of the world they will not be killed off by cold winter weather.

What ticks do during cold weather is go dormant. This means they will turn off their metabolism and stop feeding. Some species can enter into a state of diapause, hibernation or estivation during the winter months. In this state they can survive for extended periods of time until warmer weather returns and they become active again.

Can Ticks Survive the Winter Weather?

Ticks can also latch onto a host and use their body heat to stay warm, further increasing their chances of surviving the winter.

Even ticks that die in the winter may not be completely gone. Many species will lay eggs which can survive through cold temperatures, only hatching when spring arrives and temperatures rise again. [1], [2], [3], [4]

Are Ticks Even Active in Winter?

The answer to this question depends on the species of tick and the climate. In general, ticks are less active in winter months when temperatures drop. However, if the temperatures stay mild enough some species may still be active in winter.

In areas with temperate climates, like the northeastern United States, ticks may remain active year-round as long as temperatures are mild enough for them to survive. In other parts of the country, such as the Midwest and Northwest, ticks will typically become less active during colder months and then increase their activity when spring arrives.

And even if you live in the Northeastern area, you can still come across ticks in the winter months. Some species, like the deer tick, are hardier than others and may remain active even when temperatures drop. In fact, deer tick eggs hatch in months from August to September. Later on they latch onto a host and spend the rest of their lives living on host until the following spring.

In order for ticks to die in winter, temperatures will usually have to reach freezing levels or below. Even then they may not be completely wiped out as some species may lay eggs which can survive the winter and hatch later in the year. Since they usually are located at a host, they benefit from the body heat that can keep them alive and active.

However, are those winter ticks a threat or a treat to humans and animals? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. As mentioned before, ticks can spread a wide range of diseases no matter what time of year it is. So even if you are not seeing a lot of them during winter, it is important to take precautions and follow tick prevention steps. [1], [2], [3], [4]

Are Ticks Even Active in Winter?

How to Prevent Ticks

Luckily, it’s not too hard to protect yourself and your family from ticks. In this section, we will discuss some simple tips to help you reduce your risk of encountering ticks and tick-borne illnesses during the winter months.

Vaccinate your pet or yourself from the Lyme disease

If you are a pet owner, it is important to have your pet vaccinated against Lyme disease.

This will help protect them from contracting the disease and spreading it to other pets or humans. If you are at risk of tick encounters during the winter months, it is also a good idea to get vaccinated against Lyme disease yourself.

It’s also worth being aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease and taking action quickly if you notice them. These include fever, fatigue, joint pain, headache, and a characteristic rash that may look like a bull’s-eye. If you develop any of these symptoms after a tick encounter during the winter months, it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible.

Use a topical tick prevention product

One of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself against ticks is to use a topical tick prevention product. There are many different types of products available, including sprays and lotions that contain insect repellents such as DEET or permethrin.

These products will help repel ticks so they don’t latch onto your skin and remain there for more than 24 hours—the amount of time it takes for them to transmit a disease if they carry one. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully when applying these products and avoid areas around your eyes, nose, mouth, cuts and rashes.

How to Prevent Ticks

In addition to using a topical tick prevention product, consider wearing protective clothing when outdoors in tick-prone areas. This can include long sleeves and pants made of tightly woven fabric that ticks won’t be able to bite through. Light colored clothing will also make it easier to spot any ticks that may land on you.

Inspect your pets for ticks regularly

When inspecting your pet for ticks, be sure to check around the head, neck and tail area. You may also want to use a flea comb to identify any ticks that have latched on. If you find any ticks on your pet, use tweezers to remove them as soon as possible.

It’s also worth visiting the veterinarian for regular check-ups if your pet spends time outdoors in tick-prone areas. This will help them identify any potential issues before they become serious and provide advice on how to best protect your pet from ticks.

Mow your yard regularly

Ticks love to hide in tall grass, so it is important to mow your lawn regularly. This will help reduce the chances of ticks hiding in your yard and getting onto you or your pet when they come out to play.

Mowing your lawn regularly is an effective way to reduce the risk of ticks in your yard.

It will help keep weeds and tall grasses down, making it harder for ticks to survive. You should also avoid leaving piles of leaves or other debris lying around as these can provide a safe haven for ticks. [4]


Can you feel a tick bite?

Yes, you can feel a tick bite. Most ticks are very small and difficult to detect with the naked eye. While most tick bites may go unnoticed, some people may experience localized pain, itching or burning sensation around the area of the tick bite. If you believe that you have been bitten by a tick, it is important to take precautions to ensure that any potential diseases from the bite are not transmitted.

And it won’t hurt to visit a doctor, who may want to do a physical examination and also run some lab tests, just to be sure you don’t have any signs of infection.

Do ticks die in the washing machine?

The answer to this question is maybe. While it is true that some ticks may die when exposed to the hot temperatures and agitation of a washing machine, this is not a reliable method for getting rid of ticks.

The thing is, not all ticks are killed by the hot water and motion of a washing machine. To get rid of a tick, the washing temperature should be above 130°F. This temperature can be difficult to maintain when washing large items like blankets or even some clothes.

Will putting a tick in the freezer kill it?

Yes, putting a tick in the freezer is an effective way to kill it. The cold temperatures will cause the tick to become paralyzed and unable to move. This ensures that the tick will not be able to attach itself to you or your pet, reducing the risk of disease transmission.

If you wish to freeze a tick, place it in a sealed container before placing it into the freezer. Make sure not to touch the tick with your bare hands; use tweezers instead. Once it has been frozen for at least 1-3 hours, you can discard it in a sealed bag or container so that there is no chance of anyone coming into contact with it again.

Keep in mind that in order for ticks to die, the temperatures must be between -2 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to check the temperature of your freezer before attempting this method and ensure that it is cold enough to kill the tick.

Do ticks eventually fall off and die?

Not always. In some cases, ticks may fall off and die after they feed. But in other cases, they may remain on the host’s skin until environmental conditions change.

Ticks are ectoparasites (external parasites) that feed on the blood of their hosts.

They attach to their hosts using specialized mouthparts and can stay there for days or even weeks. During this time, ticks will feed on the host’s blood and become engorged with fluid.

When a tick is fully engorged, it detaches from its host and drops off to continue its life cycle. This process can take anywhere from several hours to a few days depending on the species of tick involved.

It should be noted that while ticks can sometimes fall off and die, they may also remain on a host’s skin until the winter season arrives. During colder temperatures, ticks become dormant and will not feed. This means that they won’t detach from their hosts and will instead stay attached until temperatures rise again in the spring.

What kills ticks on dogs instantly?

One of the most effective methods of killing ticks on dogs is to use a topical spot-on flea and tick medication. These products typically contain active ingredients such as fipronil, permethrin, or selamectin that can kill fleas and ticks quickly upon contact with skin. Consult your veterinarian for specific instructions on how to apply these medications correctly, as some require you to part the fur so it comes in direct contact with skin.

Useful Video: Ticks are still active during winter; here’s where they hide out


Ticks pose a lot of danger to humans, pets, and livestock. As dipteran insects, some tick species have adapted to survive during winter. They do not die off completely during the winter season as some other insects do, but they become dormant and seek out sheltered areas to wait out the colder temperatures.

In order for ticks to die, the temperatures outdoors should be around -2 and 14 °F and stay in that range constantly for a few days. They can also be killed in the winter months by applying an insecticide such as a permethrin-based product to outdoor areas.

So unfortunately, you need to be extremely diligent when it comes to protecting yourself, your family, and your pets from tick-borne diseases. Do a thorough tick check after each outdoor activity in areas that are known to have ticks. Also, wear protective clothing like long pants and tuck them into socks or boots to limit exposed skin surfaces.

If you experience any symptoms of a tick-borne disease, contact an appropriate healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. With the right precautions in place, you can help prevent being affected by these harmful pests during any time of year!


  1. https://www.terminix.com/ticks/behavior/what-happens-to-ticks-in-the-winter/
  2. https://gohikevirginia.com/where-do-ticks-go-in-winter/
  3. https://a-z-animals.com/blog/do-ticks-die-in-the-winter/
  4. https://www.fwpest.com/blog/are-ticks-still-active-in-the-winter