The weather has been mild for so long and then the rain made it very difficult for deer management.
Now a cold spell, for as long as it lasts, and we do need the cold or at least frost to keep mosquito numbers down etc.
However, we cannot say the same for the ticks that host on deer. The cold will not kill them. Instead, the autumn and winter tree shedding provides the perfect place for them retreat to.
Then, when it warms up even slightly, they will reappear, climb onto some vegetation and wait for the deer to come to them. Or, your dog, or cat or even you! They are waiting at about the height of your knee, so be aware.
Deer ticks will cause Lyme Disease and if you are bitten this can be very serious and a further reason why the control of deer is so important.
The only reason the tick will die is when they run out of stored energy reserves and that is not until the following late Spring, or May time.
If you are walking your dogs, or have working dogs on your land it is important to regularly check them if you have deer.
Likewise, it is wise to protect yourself. There is insect-repellant clothing of course, which has been treated, or you can treat your own skin where exposed with a DEET based repellent. Or, alternatively, lemon eucalyptus oil. The clothing range is expected to last through an approximate seventy wash cycles.
The feet are the most important, so you can spray your shoes and boots when you are in the outside air.
There are also tips you can read on running your clothing through a hot dryer for several minutes after exposure to deer territory. You can then shower and have a check for any on your skin. Even with long trousers, they are known to climb clothing looking for skin. Areas you are looking for can also be less visible such as behind the ears, armpits, hair line, groin and belly button. You are basically looking for any new bumps.
Although some ideas may seem harsh, Lyme Disease is not to be taken lightly. This image shows a typical indication, but some people do not even display this symptom. Watch out for flu-like symptoms, feeling feverish, headache, nausea, dizziness or joint pain.
Being tick aware is the important thing.