Even though black legged ticks bite during winter, the risk of contracting an illness is lower than it is during the peak seasons for these pests, in the spring and summer. Still, it’s important to take precautions against the ticks that are out looking for a winter meal.
If you’re hiking, hunting, or even doing yard work in an area where black legged ticks live, you should take precautions against ticks on any above-freezing days.
The nice thing about winter is you tend to wear more clothing anyway, which can help keep ticks away from your skin. You can also spray your boots and clothes with an insect repellent, or treat your clothing with the pesticide permethrin, which can disable or kill ticks on contact. And check yourself for ticks at the end of every day that you’ve been out in their habitat.
Don’t forget to keep your pets protected as well, with a vet-recommended anti-tick medication.
If you’re in an area where mosquitoes are still active during winter, it’s a good idea to use repellent when you might be exposed to them—even though the risk is low.