As “tick expert” Dr. Thomas Mather says, “Tick season is pretty much every season.”
Still, climatic conditions can make some years worse for ticks than others. Ticks thrive in humidity, so a wet year can boost populations and increase the number of places they can live in. And warm winters and lingering summer heat add weeks of activity for the animals that ticks use as hosts, making them more likely to spread into the areas where humans live.
For 2021, forecasters predict that the warm-weather months in the US will be a bad time for anyone who wants to avoid ticks, with tick populations likely to be larger than usual, and weather conditions likely to put ticks in range of people for much longer than average. And while some regions, most notably the Southeast, may not see more tick activity than usual, most states will experience the warmer, wetter conditions that drive tick populations—and the prospect of tick borne diseases—skyward.