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Do you have to be concerned about ticks in winter?

Winter_hiker_XS
Do you have to be concerned about ticks in winter?

Yes. Chances of getting Lyme disease can actually increase in winter, because people believe ticks are inactive. However, ticks have super powers and can even survive periods of being frozen underground.

There is undeniable healing power in nature. Getting outdoors restores the mind-body balance, increases a sense of well-being as well as the likelihood you’ll sleep well at night. A brisk hike in the fresh air is the antidote to being cooped up indoors.

Even better, mosquitoes and flies won’t bug you like they do in warmer months.

Ticks, though, are a different animal.

They do survive throughout the winter, according to Dr. Thomas Mather of the University of Rhode Island.

Ticks produce a sort of antifreeze to protect themselves from frigid temperatures. They are “back out and biting,” as soon as the weather warms and the ground thaws, observes Dr. Mather.

This doesn’t mean you should stay inside. Get the benefits of being in nature, just take precautions.


Checklist for outdoor activity:

- Wear long socks, appropriate footwear, and tuck your socks into your pant legs.

- Wear light-colored clothing including socks and shoes, to make tick checks much easier.

- Avoid brushing up against grasses, stay clear of woodsy areas, and hike in the middle of the path.

- Perform a routine tick check when you get indoors. Have another person check your hair and scalp.

- Check your pets. Dogs and cats and any critters who share your bed and your living space should also routinely be inspected.

- Wear DEET, but be forewarned, even it does not guarantee protection from tick bites.
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