Icy Intruders: Tackling Tick Issues During The Winter Months In Conroe
Tick crawling on someone's skin.

Icy Intruders: Tackling Tick Issues During The Winter Months In Conroe

People often think tick prevention begins with dogs and cats. While this is somewhat true, it starts in your yard before your dog or cat picks these little critters up. If ticks aren't able to find their way onto your property or find a place to survive in your landscape or underneath structures, your pets have less of a chance of picking them up and bringing them into your home. That makes sense, right? All year long, ticks can come into your yard and get on your pets, even in winter—yes, winter. While we don't have icy winters in Conroe, these pests, considered icy intruders in the northern states, are still troublesome for Conroe residents.

Today, let's take a look at the way ticks behave during the winter months, how a cold winter day can feel "icy" to bugs, and why there is really no tick season in Texas. We'll discuss the impact ticks can have on the health of your pets and also on the humans living in your home. Most of all, we'll dig in and share strategies you can implement to prevent tick problems during the winter. If you need fast answers to tick problems, remember that Modern Pest Control provides science-based solutions to pest issues in Conroe. We're happy to help. Contact by phone or online for assistance.

Icy Environments, Hotspots For Ticks: Identifying Winter Habitats

What is an icy environment for a bug? Some insects will look for warmth when temperatures drop into the 50s. Do ticks? No. Like other arachnids, ticks can live in cold temperatures. In laboratory studies, ticks can survive at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the freezing point. At 14 degrees and below, they begin to die off, but only a portion. Most ticks will survive, even at these temperatures. It takes sustained temperatures as low as -2 degrees to eliminate an entire tick population. What does this mean for tick prevention around your Conroe home?

When considering how these pests survive and find their way into your home, you have to take your eyes off ticks and place them on the animals that carry them. While ticks are cold-blooded arachnids that tolerate the cold, the warm-blooded animals that carry them don't like a chilly winter night in Conroe. They'll look for places to hide from the wind, particularly when we get an unusual cold snap.

So, where do warm-blooded animals like to hide? The animals that carry ticks range from tiny mice to large bucks. While you don't have to worry about deer looking for harborage underneath your back deck, mice, rats, and other animals can take refuge there. They'll also hide under other exterior structures and inside stored junk. Mice may even decide to live in your car or truck.

Do you have to worry about your dog or cat picking up ticks in these places during the winter? When an animal comes into your yard looking for a warm hiding spot and beds down underneath a structure, it can drop ticks. Those ticks can survive when the animal leaves, even though it takes its warmth with it. If your dog or cat goes into a location where an animal has bedded down, it can pick ticks up, even on a cold winter day. But there is a greater issue during the winter. What is it?

Mice and rats may try harder to get into your home when it gets chilly outside. If they do, they can bring ticks inside with them. A tiny mouse can have dozens of seed ticks on its body. A seed tick is the nymph form of the tick. It has only six legs in this stage of development and is exceptionally small. As a mouse or rat moves about inside your house, it can shed ticks as it goes. That means you can end up with atick infestation in your home, even if your pets don't go outdoors.

In a moment, we'll take the information we just shared and tell you how you can apply it to winter tick prevention. Before we do, we need to quickly take a look at the health risks associated with ticks in your home. Understanding how ticks cause sickness is critical for disease prevention.

Winter Tick-Borne Diseases: Risks And Symptoms You Should Know

Your dog, cat, child, and others in your home can get sick from a tick-borne disease just as easily in the winter as in other times of the year. It is important to know that ticks don't spread diseases like other pests. Some pests bite quickly and transmit a virus. Some pests are unsanitary and spread germs picked up from unsanitary places. Ticks don't do either of these things. They attach to the skin for more than a day or two. While attached, the tick shares disease-causing organisms that your body has some ability to fight off. If attached for a short time, you may not get sick.

For example, a tick takes at least 36 hours to transmit Lyme disease, which means you have 36 hours to remove the tick and avoid "contracting" this illness. It is all about how well your body can fight off the organisms that cause Lyme disease. Therefore, early detection is the key to preventing this tick-borne disease.

Some diseases transmitted by ticks can make you sick faster. When you detect and remove a tick, seeking medical attention is always a good idea. Some diseases are treatable with antibiotics soon after symptoms begin. Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a good example. The symptoms of this disease can appear 3 to 12 days after the tick bites you. If you catch the tick and have a physician check you, you may be able to avoid the symptoms. If you don't catch the tick but recognize the symptoms, you can seek treatment and prevent this serious or chronic disease. Keep in mind that RMSF typically spreads between April and September. It isn't a winter disease. But other tick-borne illnesses can occur in winter.

During the winter months, search for ticks and rashes caused by ticks. Teach your kids to do the same. Check your pets routinely, and learn how to remove ticks properly. Can you feel a tick bite? No. The way a tick bites is painless. You have to actively look for attached ticks and watch for symptoms. If you get sick with flu-like symptoms and you've seen tick activity in your home, consider having your doctor check you, just in case. Vigilance can prevent serious or chronic tick-borne disease.

Now that you're on track to avoid illness let's turn our attention to what you can do to prevent a tick problem during the winter. Keep in mind that many of the following tips can help you throughout the year, particularly during the hot and humid months when ticks are most active.

Winter Tick Prevention: Tips For Protecting Your Home And Family

During the winter, animals observe certain patterns. They can follow these patterns any time of the year, but they may have more incentive during a stretch of cold winter days. When it gets cold outdoors, insects that don't tolerate the cold can work their way into your home or go into dormancy. Insects are one food source that sustains mice and rats. When they enter your house, mice and rats may follow. Rodents want to live where food is abundant.

A cold night can also motivate a mouse or rat to break into your home. The combination of chilly temperatures and a search for food can make winter a common time for rodents to get into Conroe homes. When they do, ticks come with them.

The secret to keeping ticks out of your house is to deter mice, rats, and other animals. It is also important to ensure your pets have tick protection prescribed by your veterinarian. Combining the two can help keep ticks from getting indoors.

Here are some helpful tips to keep mice, rats, and other animals away from your property:

  • Remove objects from the ground in your yard. Rats and mice use ground clutter to help them navigate.
  • Trim bushes and plants to open up your landscaping. Doing so will help deter animals from hiding in your vegetation.
  • Keep your trash receptacles covered at all times. Mice and rats can scale surfaces and jump to reach the trash; other animals do the same.
  • Keep watch for shredded garbage bags in your receptacles. That is a warning sign that an animal is getting to your trash. Raccoons can lift lids, so put something on them to weigh them down or use a bungee cord to secure them.
  • Rodents are strongly attracted to yards that have bird seed on the ground or accessible feeders, and even more so in the winter when other food sources are not available. Move bird feeders or attach them to smooth metal poles that rodents are unable to scale.
  • Store firewood, dead branches, and construction scraps in bins rather than on the ground. You may also use an elevated structure for storing these things.
  • Use hardware cloth or chicken wire to keep rodents from using voids underneath structures.
  • If you have an unprotected void, such as a space underneath your back deck, clear it out so animals have a place to hide from cold winter winds.
  • Rodents can climb to your roof by scaling up your downspouts. Protect your downspouts with wire mesh, which allows water to flow out but blocks rodents from climbing in and climbing up.
  • Rodents can run along power lines to get onto your roof. You may attach guards to prevent rats and mice from getting across.
  • Use expanding foam to fill in structural cavities, gaps, and cracks. Mice and rats can chew a hole to enter your home but don't typically create holes from scratch.
  • Protect trees that are next to your home so rodents can't scale the trees and get onto your roof. Place rodent guards around the trunks or trim the branches away from your roofline.
  • If you detect animal harborage areas or need assistance making your property resistant to wildlife, contact a wildlife management company. For assistance with this in the Conroe area, Modern Pest Control can help.

Winter is certainly not the worst time of year for ticks, but guarding your family all year is essential. Ticks spread harmful diseases that can have serious symptoms or cause chronic illness. You should never let your guard down. As you consider your tick control strategy, keep us in mind if you live in Conroe or the surrounding area. There are several ways your Modern Pest Control team can help.

Professional Flea And Tick Control: A Smart Solution All Year

Great tick protection comes with ongoing pest control services for your home. Our Modern Plus plan can get you started by providing your property with general perimeter protection and routine exterior treatments.

If you step up to our Signature plan, you get protection from rats and mice, too. During service visits, we use industry-leading rodent management methods to monitor activity, block access, collect rodents, and, if necessary, remove rodent populations.

You can also increase your coverage with our Signature Plus plan, which includes all the services you need for your home, plus termite and mosquito control. The treatments we use to eliminate mosquitoes are also effective at removing ticks. Your yard will have all the protection it needs to reduce potentially harmful pests and prevent pest entry all year.

Are you ready to get rid of ticks in your yard? Modern Pest Control is here to help you find the right pest control solutions for your home. We don't just provide professional tick control in Conroe; we're your source for ongoing and sustainable management of all the pests that concern you. Navigate to our contact page to connect with our QualityPro-certified team; we look forward to hearing from you.

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