So it’s no secret that those of us who reside in the northern portions of the US love to go south for a break during the winter. If you’re retired, this break is probably a bit more of an extended stay, but even those of us who are in the flourish of our careers love a journey to a warmer climate. And who can blame us? Winters here are harsh. Birds do it; we should get to do it too. Recently, I returned from a rejuvenating trip to sunny Florida. And since I’m thinking of my favorite way to escape winter, I thought you might be interested in knowing how ticks and mosquitoes escape. Obviously, they don’t get away like birds and people, and knowing how and where they spend the winter helps Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire address your tick and mosquito problems in the spring, summer, and fall.
Let’s begin with ticks. The most worrisome variety here in the area is the blacklegged tick (commonly called the deer tick). It is the foremost carrier of Lyme disease, transmits a host of other tick-bourne illnesses, and lives up to two years. The University of Rhode Island supports a large tick research and education program sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture and many health care groups. According to their research, ticks survive winter weather in much the same fashion as bears. They hibernate or become dormant. But they only do this when the ground is frozen; any other time, they are active. Ticks are very resilient creatures and capable of surviving harsh conditions in piles of fallen leaves and fallen, rotting logs.
Mosquitoes – those painful summertime nuisances and carriers of a swath of diseases including West Nile virus – are famous for how quickly they reproduce. Unlike the tick, the lifespan of a mosquito is relatively short, about a month. But they do survive winter, or we would never have to worry about them again. The Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers University maintains that many mosquitoes become dormant, like ticks, by entering hollow logs, animal burrows, or basements. Some mosquitoes that cannot survive by hibernation lay winter-hardy eggs, which hatch in the spring when temperatures rise in to the 60s, and some mosquitoes hibernate during their larval stage in the mud of swamps and ponds in order to survive the freeze.
So what does this mean for us? Remember that during the winter you can still combat the tick and mosquito populations by getting rid of fallen leaves and keeping the land around your home as dry as possible. Of course now that the weather is warming, it is time to begin planning for spring and summer tick and mosquito control. So call Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire today. We will work with you to set up a control plan that will help protect you, your family, and your pets all summer long.
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