New Jersey is known as a high-risk area for diseases spread by ticks and mosquitos, such as Lyme disease, West Nile virus, and potentially the Zika virus. Fortunately, we can help you combat these pests with our tick and mosquito control services. Our products are safe for children and pets while remaining effective.
Some creepy facts: A cockroach can live about a month with its head cut off. In its 300 million or so years on this planet, its relatives have survived an asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs, an ice age and an atom bomb.
These vile pests the color of excrement reproduce all year and know where to find warm places to hide. So that "bomb cyclone" of a cold spell that froze much of the United States? It's like nothing for the roaches — or most other creepy-crawly pests.
Yes, it's been cold, really cold — but you survived. Don't think your worst nightmares didn't.
Can't we at least tell you that the "bomb cyclone" killed off some ticks?
Probably not, said Thomas Mather, "The Tick Guy," an entomologist at the University of Rhode Island who directs their TickEncounter Resource Center.
Put a deer tick — the kind that carries the bacteria that causes Lyme disease — in a freezer overnight, and that sucker will die. But give it a night outside in well below freezing temperatures under some snow, and in the morning its writhing, living body will greet you. Dr. Mather demonstrated this during the recent cold snap.
Polar "Vorticks" Video by TickEncounter Resource Center
In the Northeast, adult deer tick populations start peaking after the first frost: "Right away they're sort of showing, 'I'm not afraid of the cold,'" said Dr. Mather. That's because they have survival tricks.
A tick dies moving from a warm room to a freezer because water in its cells freezes, crystallizes and breaks its cell membranes. But ticks acclimate outside where temperature changes more gradually. With time, they move water out of their cells before it ruptures them. Other outdoor critters can produce antifreeze proteins. Ticks also escape cold temperatures by insulating themselves beneath a blanket of leaf litter and snow.
Polar vortex, bomb cyclone, cold snap — whatever you call it — it hasn't affected spring tick populations before, and it probably won't now, according to Dr. Mather.
"These bugs have been around longer than people, and they probably have gone through cold temperatures before," Dr. Mather said. If they hadn't survived, "we would have called them extinct."