Sitka Mountain Gear
Cold temps for Ticks
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
Boris 05-Jan-18
Woods Walker 05-Jan-18
WhitetailHtr 05-Jan-18
fubar racin 05-Jan-18
Dutch oven 05-Jan-18
hawkeye in PA 05-Jan-18
elk yinzer 05-Jan-18
LBshooter 05-Jan-18
Killinstuff 06-Jan-18
jjs 06-Jan-18
Woods Walker 06-Jan-18
Elkhorn 06-Jan-18
dkbs 06-Jan-18
Paul@thefort 06-Jan-18
BOX CALL 06-Jan-18
Paul@thefort 06-Jan-18
spike78 06-Jan-18
pirogue 06-Jan-18
Paul@thefort 06-Jan-18
SteveB 07-Jan-18
Sean D. 07-Jan-18
drycreek 07-Jan-18
midwest 07-Jan-18
Duke 07-Jan-18
WV Mountaineer 07-Jan-18
Fuzz 07-Jan-18
btnbuck 08-Jan-18
lawdy 08-Jan-18
TrapperKayak 08-Jan-18
Bowriter 08-Jan-18
Tonybear61 08-Jan-18
From: Boris
05-Jan-18
I know that many are complaining about the cold temps. Even those in the south. But, stop an think about this. The colder the temps. the more TICKS it will kill. Over the last couple of years, we have had very mild winters. That lead to more ticks. An more lymes. Sure, I don't like it, but in the long run we will be better off.

From: Woods Walker
05-Jan-18
That IS a plus Boris. Thanks for the reminder. I'll remember it when I have to do evening feeding chores out there in frozen hell! Think positive.............

From: WhitetailHtr
05-Jan-18
I found a tick embedded in my back on December 5 of this year. It was after several days in the teens a couple of weeks before, so the temps had been cold. On the day I killed the deer that I attribute this to it was in the 30's. The only thing that I can figure is that this tick was on the deer and either was transferred to me while loading in the back of my truck, or when skinning. BTW I DID contract a tick borne illness (not Lymes but scary and painful) from this bite, and had to go on antibiotics for 14 days to knock it out. I have a friend who is a taxidermist in Michigan and he told me that he routinely thaws out heads and capes that have been in the freezer, and that the ticks revive when exposed to warm temperatures in the shop. Often.

From: fubar racin
05-Jan-18
ticks spook me! I don't turkey hunt anymore but when i go deer hunting i spray the back of my pickup and myself with permythren before the trip and after each kill.

From: Dutch oven
05-Jan-18
Ya, I'd love to see some real science behind the frigid weather/fewer ticks theory. Based on that theory and the cold weather we've had in southern Missouri, we shouldn't have ticks around here for years to come.

05-Jan-18
I've watched ticks crawling on the snow on sunny afternoons. I'm thinking the killing part is just wishful thinking. Like ants in a log they emerge regardless when it warms up.

From: elk yinzer
05-Jan-18
Didn't do a thing in 14 and 15 when we had prolonged temps colder than this. There is building evidence it is good for walleye spawning though, so I will take it.

From: LBshooter
05-Jan-18
How the hell do those little buggers stay alive in these sub zero temps? no wool, under armor, down of hot hands and they live, what the heck kind of insulation do they have, I want some.

From: Killinstuff
06-Jan-18
It was -10 to-35 in NE Montana for 10 days straight end of December (warmed up to the 20's now but that won't last for long) and the ticks stay nice and warm on some bulls nut sack. Cold weather don't seem to knock them down come spring at all. It's amazing to me ANYTHING survives living out there in such cold wide open wind swept land but they do

From: jjs
06-Jan-18
Talk with my vet, he is a bird hunter w/ gun dogs, about ticks and the study came out that deer ticks have an anti-freeze in their system and it take a long period of extreme cold to knock them down ( about 9 days of continuous - below temp) which we have been under here in Mn.; this is the reason you do not see them up in Alaska and other northern regions. So, hoping some good comes out of this extreme cold weather, but still have to be smart out there with ticks. The best thing that can happen to take them out is fire, good for the land and good for clearing out the bad, but screws the hunting up for a while. It will be the 2 anniversary of my son's death in several days from reactions of Lymes disease, the antibiotics and other meds reacted to him to go into A-fib and his heart stopped, he wasn't a hunter, be careful and use common sense.

From: Woods Walker
06-Jan-18
My deepest sympathies to you Jon.

From: Elkhorn
06-Jan-18
I live in Canada we had one winter in 1996, 30 days it never got above -30C, in the spring ticks were still abundant.

06-Jan-18
So sorry for your loss!

From: dkbs
06-Jan-18
I always think about the mosquitoes I see hovering around hunters in the far north like Alaska, they survive the sub zero temps.

From: Paul@thefort
06-Jan-18
I truly believe when mankind is off this planet for what every reasons, the only remaining species, might be, the tick, the rat, and maybe the whitetailed deer. ok, the coyote also.

From: BOX CALL
06-Jan-18
Had a stinkbug crawling across the kitchen ceiling this morning.

From: Paul@thefort
06-Jan-18
Boris, there is another thought concerning the cold weather and tick survival. It is all about survival of the fittest. Those that die, will, but those that survive, will be bigger, stronger, and a more pain in the ass. (or other parts)

From: spike78
06-Jan-18
Paul, you forgot the mighty cockroach as well. If anyone thinks cold kills bugs they would be wrong. They just go into a dormant state and when it warms they come to life. Think about cold blooded frogs and turtles. They would be dead too.

From: pirogue
06-Jan-18
Cold winter means nothing for insects next summer. Ever ask anyone who has been to Alaska in the summer if there were insects?

From: Paul@thefort
06-Jan-18
"Cockroach as well". Well stated.

From: SteveB
07-Jan-18
I don’t believe it personally. I think most ticks are impervious to standard lower 48 cold weather. I hate ticks !

From: Sean D.
07-Jan-18
A few years back I was checking traps and had a mink that was loaded with ticks. I had to chop ice to get it out of the trap. I don't remember the temp but it was freezing cold, plus the mink was underwater for probably 8 to 10 hours. I had a table in the shed that I dried my catch on before skinning and when I went to get that mink there was probably 30-40 ticks crawling off it.

From: drycreek
07-Jan-18
I just read in a QDMA article about ticks and prescribed fire. Seems enough survived that it made no difference come summertime.

From: midwest
07-Jan-18
"I truly believe when mankind is off this planet for what every reasons, the only remaining species, might be, the tick, the rat, and maybe the whitetailed deer. ok, the coyote also."

...and when the last of those species die, a possum will come along and eat the remains. :-)

From: Duke
07-Jan-18
The cold winter has no effect on ticks here in Wisconsin. Two of the worst years I can recall were actually following brutal winters.

07-Jan-18
Real cold and low snow amounts tend to kill them better as far as weather is concerned. A lot of ticks stay in the ground or, in the duff layer of their environment. Cold makes them go dormant. But, snow insulates them. So, as jjs said, fire is the best killer. Because colder climates usually get snow. God Bless

From: Fuzz
07-Jan-18
So I looked up whether or not cold weather kills tics. It does not. It's takes sharp swings in temps to kill tics in any amount, and even then, very few die.

From: btnbuck
08-Jan-18

btnbuck's embedded Photo
The armpit of a deer from Carroll Co. Ohio
btnbuck's embedded Photo
The armpit of a deer from Carroll Co. Ohio
They're pretty bad in eastern ohio lately. I read somewhere that they need moisture to survive. (that's why they bury in the duff in the woods)

I have seen them "dried" up and dead on the garage floor after dressing out a deer.

The Black Legged Tick is active all winter long when it's warm enough for them to move around.

From: lawdy
08-Jan-18
The ticks have decimated our moose herd in Northern NH. One moose was estimated to have 30,000 ticks on him. Before the moose arrived in the 60's with heavy logging, we had very few ticks up here in the mountains. Now with moose slowly disappearing, the tick population is diminishing. Moose are big animals and provide good wintering for many ticks until they weaken and die or are too weak to escape coyotes which pack up now. Logging practices are spelling doom also as tops are no longer left. Everything not put into logs is chipped for bio-fuel. A clearcut used to be messy but a foraging paradise for deer and moose. Now it is a golf course until regen can start, and that can take years sometimes. Find a nasty cut where a cable skidder and chainsaw were used and that is where the wildlife will be.

From: TrapperKayak
08-Jan-18

TrapperKayak's embedded Photo
TrapperKayak's embedded Photo
Here in NY, everything lives all winter... :) Ticks are not impacted by cold.

From: Bowriter
08-Jan-18
Not sure winter temps impact ticks at all. Moisture does. They can't swim.

From: Tonybear61
08-Jan-18
Lack of moisture, heat is what kills them. That's why my camo goes n the drier repeatedly during turkey and early deer season.

  • Sitka Gear