Fact: Some symptoms of Lyme disease can overlap with symptoms of menopause.
Why we’re talking about ticks in menopause? Because some of the symptoms of Lyme disease such as heart palpitations, fatigue, sleep issues and others overlap with symptoms of perimenopause. And tick born diseases are just about everywhere. If you live in colder climates, you may have been wondering (or hoping) that these brutally cold weather episodes sweeping the eastern half of the nation are freezing off blacklegged (deer) ticks? It’d be nice, right?
We asked tick borne disease expert, Dr. Thomas Mather, the Director of the University of Rhode Island’s Center for Vector-Borne Disease and Tick Encounter Resource Center this very question. He and his team recently conducted a series of tests to determine if the dreaded ticks are dead or alive.
“Recently, when we put some adult female deer ticks in our own polar vortex (aka, the freezer), ticks were killed in 24 hours. The temperature was -2°F. It’s certainly been colder than that in Green Bay, Pittsburg and Burlington. Being attacked by fewer ticks come springtime would be some kind of payback for the extreme heating bills of this winter,” says Mather.
Frigid temperatures are not going to reduce the risk of tick encounters
But hold on! Outside in nature, the ticks are on the ground, under leaves, snow and other debris. Over evolutionary time, ticks probably have seen their share of frigid polar vortex conditions… and somehow survived them. So, when Dr. Mather’s team took more ticks outside to test what would happen, (spoiler alert, watch the video and get prepared to be shocked) the result was not pleasant. In science terms, what we’ve been talking about thus far is a crude assessment of cold hardiness. In a nutshell – these ticks are cold hardy.
So, bottom line – frigid temperatures are not going to reduce the risk of tick encounters much. So start making plans now to keep yourselves, pets and family tick safe this summer.