Sunday, January 8, 2012


 How many times have you heard comments that though it's cold outside and often tough going in winter garb, at least the bugs aren't bad? So far this winter, we've had only glimpses of normal temperatures. Last week we hit a single digit  overnight temperature once, but a few days later it was almost 60 degrees.

But at least the bugs aren't bad!

Or are they?

I caught a coyote yesterday that might have told a different story. As I was cleaning and brushing the pelt to preserve it until the next time the fur-truck shows up, I felt a familiar lump, up by the animal's ear.
Sure enough, the coyote was wearing a January tick!

A quick check of the literature available set the air temperature at which ticks are active (at any time of year) at 4 degrees celcius, which is 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Evidently the tick climbed aboard mister coyote one of those warm days we had recently.

Remember, however, there are always micro-climates in the outdoors. South facing slopes and other areas warm up to appreciably higher temperatures on sunny winter days. Such areas are favorite resting areas for many species of wildlife, including game and predators. That makes them good places for hunters, nature photographers and birders.

If that includes you, enjoy the winter, but be a skeptical  about any claims of winter being free of bugs. The sneaky little boogers are still there!  

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