Ticks call every state in the U.S. home, and Massachusetts is, of course, no exception. Learn more about when ticks are most active in the Bay State and what you can do to avoid getting bitten by these blood-sucking pests.
What Months Are Ticks Most Active In Massachusetts?
Tick activity can occur at any time of year in Massachusetts. However, there are typically two peaks of tick activity annually. While these peaks can vary year to year depending on the weather, the first peak usually starts during March or April and extends through August. The second peak often emerges during October and November. According to public reports, most cases of tick-borne diseases occur during the first peak, particularly from June through August.
What Weather Do Ticks Like?
Ticks prefer warm, muggy weather. Warm temperature improves ticks’ mobility and their chances of getting to a host and feeding. The colder the weather gets, the harder it is for ticks to remain active.
Ticks also thrive when there’s a lot of humidity in the air. This is because they are unable to drink water and instead must extract the water vapor around them to stay hydrated. Once the humidity in the air around them drops below 80 percent, ticks can quickly die of dehydration.
You might be wondering if this means that ticks die off during the winter, due to the cold, dry air. Unfortunately, no. Once outdoor temperatures reach 44°F, most ticks left outside will struggle to move. To survive winter conditions, ticks will find shelter under dead leaves and vegetation and go dormant until the weather warms up again. Some ticks will remain active during chilly temperatures by attaching themselves to a host and continuing to feed.
Tips for Avoiding Tick Bites
Tick bites can happen to anyone, but you’re most likely to get bitten while spending time outdoors in gardens, parks, or wilderness. Keep the following tips in mind to avoid being bitten:
- Avoid walking through tall grass, and do your best not to brush up against bushes and shrubs. Ticks like to hide and hitch a ride onto people and animals in these areas.
- Wear repellent that contains one of these ingredients: DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus oil, IR3535, 2-undecanone, or para-menthane-diol (PMD). Keep in mind that products with PMD or lemon eucalyptus oil should not be used on children three years and under.
- Treat your shoes, clothes, and sleeping bags with products that contain 0.5% permethrin to help repel ticks.
- Wear light-colored clothing so that it’s easy to spot ticks that have tried to “hitch a ride.”
Tick Control in Boston
Have ticks become a problem on your property? At Pestex Inc, we have extensive experience controlling tick problems throughout the greater Boston area. Schedule your appointment with our QualityPro Certified business today by calling (617) 544-2566.