Tick season can be every season

Ticks can be active at temperatures of 4℃ and above, which can be in every season, even in the winter.

Scroll down, or click on a specific season below, to understand the habits and life cycle of ticks in each season.

Woman and animals in Spring.

Spring

Ticks are active in the early spring.

  • Pet owners should be aware that tick control in the spring is important even though it might feel too cold for parasites to be out.
  • “Questing” is the term used to describe when a tick is looking for a host, like a dog, cat or person, to feed on.
  • The questing activity of blacklegged ticks and American dog ticks are influenced by different factors.
  • Adult blacklegged ticks begin questing when the temperature reaches 4℃ or higher, though studies exist which demonstrate activity can occur even at temperatures lower than this.
  • The questing activity of American dog ticks is influenced by day length. The American dog tick begins questing as the days get longer in the spring.

Could ticks be active in your area today?

Summer

Tick activity continues in the summer.

  • American dog ticks continue questing into the summer months.
  • The immature stages of the blacklegged tick which became active in the late spring, continue to be active throughout the summer season.
  • However, adult blacklegged ticks are less active in the summer as they prefer cooler temperatures.
  • As such, extending tick protection into the summer season is crucial to reduce the risk of ticks and exposure to tick borne diseases.

Could ticks be active in your area today?

Woman and animals in Summer.
Woman and animals in Fall.

Fall

Peak activity of blacklegged ticks occurs in the fall.

  • As the fall progresses, American dog tick activity decreases significantly as the day length gets shorter.
  • However, the fall is when adult blacklegged ticks are most active as cool temperatures are ideal for them.
  • Late September to mid-December are ideal questing times for adult blacklegged ticks
  • This can come as a surprise to many pet owners as often it is believed that parasite risk will decrease in cooler temperatures.
  • Though this may be true for some parasites, it is not true for blacklegged ticks.
  • This reinforces the need for extended tick protection throughout the fall season.

Could ticks be active in your area today?

Winter

Pet owners should remain vigilant throughout the winter months.

  • Ticks can survive the winter.
  • Adult blacklegged ticks that are unable to find a host to feed on in the fall enter a resting phase when very cold temperatures and thick snow prevent them from questing for a host.
  • However, if during the winter months the air temperature rises to 4℃ and above, adult blacklegged ticks are able to become active again, even when there is still snow on the ground!
  • As such, vigilance is required even during the winter months to keep pets protected.

Could ticks be active in your area today?

Woman and animals in Winter.

Contact your veterinarian for more information on tick prevention and awareness.

They can also help set up a tick control program
for your pet.