Where Do Ticks Live during Winter?

Winter ‘s icy grip may have you believing that ticks, those minuscule arachnids capable of transmitting diseases, have finally retreated. But do ticks truly disappear during the frigid winter months? In this comprehensive exploration, we will delve into the mysterious world of winter ticks. We’ll uncover where they go, how they survive, and how you can prepare for their inevitable return come spring.

Do Ticks Die in the Winter?

One common misconception is that ticks die in the winter, when the mercury drops past freezing. Ticks have evolved remarkable survival strategies that enable them to endure the harshest of winters, with a Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources study showing that ticks will only die with sustained temperatures under 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

Where Do Ticks Go During Winter?

Ticks often seek shelter beneath layers of fallen leaves, logs, or even within the cozy dens of small mammals. Some ticks will also try and find an animal to attach themselves to for the winter, making the fall a prime tick season. These concealed nooks provide vital insulation against the bitter cold, allowing ticks to brave the elements throughout the winter months.  Ticks exhibit remarkable adaptability when it comes to winter survival. Learn more on if ticks hibernate during Winter.

Did you Know: One good thing about the winter is that ticks cannot reproduce in the chilly conditions of the season. This means that their populations generally remain stable during these months.

Areas of the United States with Year-Round Tick Activity:

Certain regions in the United States experience year-round tick activity owing to their more temperate climates. An intriguing phenomenon occurs in regions blessed with milder winters. Here, ticks may persistently remain active or become active earlier in the spring than their counterparts in harsher climates. Knowing your locations tick activity and treatment schedule is an important consideration.

Let’s explore some of these tick-friendly areas:


States in the southeastern United States, including the likes of Florida and Georgia, face a higher probability of year-round tick activity due to their relatively mild winters.

Deep South:

The deep southern states, such as Texas and Louisiana, also experience milder winters that can sustain tick populations throughout the year.


Even in portions of the southwest, such as Arizona and New Mexico, ticks can remain active during the winter months.

How Can I Prepare During the Winter?

Ticks can still be active when ground temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. To minimize the risk of tick encounters, it’s essential to take preventive measures during the winter months. Here are some proactive steps to consider:

Educate Yourself: Familiarize yourself with the types of ticks in your area and their preferred habitats.

Protect Your Yard: Clear leaf litter and maintain a well-groomed yard to reduce tick-friendly hiding spots.

Winter Check-ups: Conduct regular tick checks on yourself, your pets, and outdoor gear, even in the winter months. Ticks can live from 6 months to a year without a host.

Stay Informed: Keep an eye on local tick activity reports as spring approaches.

Tick-Repellent Clothing: Invest in tick-repellent clothing for outdoor activities, providing an additional layer of defense.

When Will the Ticks Come Back in the Spring?

As the temperatures gradually rise in the spring, ticks awaken from their winter slumber and become increasingly active. The combination of warmer weather, higher humidity levels, and longer daylight hours creates an ideal environment for ticks to become more active.


Ticks don’t merely vanish during the winter; they employ their remarkable adaptability to endure the cold season. Understanding their winter behavior and taking proactive precautions can significantly reduce the risk of tick encounters when they become active again in the spring. Remain informed and stay vigilant year-round to protect yourself and your loved ones from tick-borne diseases. The world of ticks is indeed fascinating and complex, and it’s essential to be prepared for their return when the seasons change.

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