Ticks, which are as tiny as a sesame seed, can be active any time the temperature is above freezing. They are most active from March to the middle of May, and from the middle of August to November. Both baby ticks and adult ticks can transmit Lyme disease. As winters are getting warmer because of climate change, ticks are remaining active longer and carrying diseases into new areas across the United States. The areas where tick diseases are most prevalent are the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Upper Midwest.
Adult ticks can survive under snow, and if the sun comes out in winter, they may find an animal to feed on. Other kinds of ticks are active when the temperature is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit if the ground is not wet. Winter tick eggs hatch on the ground in August and September. Their larvae seek out a host between September and November. Those that find a host will remain alive all winter by holding onto its hair when they can’t feed. Without a host, ticks die. Female ticks remain on a host until the end of winter or the beginning of spring. At that point, they fall into leaves where they can lay up to 3,000 eggs before they die.
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