How to Leave Those Ticks in the Woods

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It’s a sunny 40 degrees outdoors. You decide to take a walk in the woods. It’s winter. Does that guarantee a tick-free walk?

Not quite.

Some types of ticks remain active from fall to spring when temperatures are above freezing, according to tick expert Dr. Goudarz Molaei, a medical entomologist and director of the Passive Tick Surveillance and Testing Program at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES).

Give a Hoot About Owls

Saw-whet Owl overwinters along the Connecticut shoreline but nests farther north.

Got bird houses? Lots of people do. But have you got owl houses or habitat? 

Owls have a keen appetite for mice and other rodents, critical vectors of the disease-carrying tick population. Who can deny the attraction of natural tick control? Owls also eat voles, critters who are responsible for lots of lawn destruction. Some owls also hunt shrews, skunks and rabbits, among other prey.

Landscape practices reduce the odds of tick bites

Ticks do not thrive in dry, sunny areas

I've talked with people who hesitate to go outside, worried about getting a tick bite. Researchers from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) have investigated the problem for years. Here's my 2014 interview with Dr. Kirby Stafford III, a leading tick researcher at CAES. If you have trouble with the link, please download the PDF below. (Also, find a link to a 2021 podcast with Dr. Thomas Mather at TickEncounter Research Center, below.) 

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