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Meet the Winter Tick

Jennifer Smith

Posted on October 29 2018

The winter tick is real and dangerous - but not to humans.

As temperatures continue to drop, and climates change, wild animals around the nation are being affected by the winter tick, also known by its real name the Dermacentor albipictus. While the winter tick does not carry Lyme Disease, like its counterpart the Black-legged Tick, it is very dangerous to moose in the North region of the United States.

A study of 179 radio-collared moose calves found that 125 (or 70 percent) died over a three-year period, all with significant tick infestations. (Poughkeepsie Journal)

Some moose see 30, 40, 50,000 ticks on one animal. This health problem to animals is confusing tick experts.

The reason for the tick infestation on wild moose is unknown and requires additional research. 

This tick is not to be confused with other ticks that are active in the winter season. Lone Star Ticks and American Dog Ticks are not active; however, as long as the temperatures remain above freezing, the Black-legged Tick remains a concern to humans and pets.