Spring means lots of folks will be venturing out into their yards soon to clean up winter’s ravages and start to enjoy our too short outdoor seasons. Unfortunately, they aren’t the only ones. Adult blacklegged ticks also venture out of their winter homes as the temperatures warm. This species of ticks are the ones that can carry Lyme disease and more rarely, other infectious diseases.
Adult females need to feed in order to lay their eggs and they don’t care if the source of their meal is a deer, your dog, or you! That means these ladies are hungry and actively questing for that meal.
The Centers for Disease Control has loads of information on ticks and Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome located here!
What Can I Do To Reduce My Exposure To Ticks?
Blacklegged ticks or Deer ticks have very specific environmental requirements to complete their life cycle. The edge of the woods typically supplies all the requirements – shade, moisture, and most importantly, leaf litter and decomposing organic matter where they can complete the transformation process from larva to nymph to adult. Avoiding these types of areas is one of the simplest ways to avoid ticks and tick borne diseases.
If you do want to get out and spend some time in the woods, try to stay in the center of the path. Proper clothing like long pants and long sleeve shirts help protect you, too. While it may not be the fashion statement you want to make, tucking your pant legs into your socks does work. The goal is to keep any ticks that get on your clothes on your clothes and not on your skin.
Personal Chemical Control
Repellents can keep ticks from attaching to you where you have applied them but there is nothing to stop them from passing over those areas and attaching where you did not apply repellent. Products containing the active ingredient DEET are most commonly used and you can find this in products such as OFF! and Cutter.
If you spend a lot of time in tick habitat areas, you may want to consider getting a commercially available product that contains permethrin to treat your clothing. Apply to your clothing and let dry. Protection can last up through six washings. Unlike repellents, this product actually kills the ticks that get on the treated clothing. Don’t forget to treat your socks and shoes!
Since infected ticks transmit diseases like Lyme disease preventing tick bites is a much better option than having to remove a tick from your skin.
How Can I Protect My Kids And Pets From Lyme Disease?
It can be hard to keep the kids and pets out of tick habitat. One way to help keep these vulnerable family members safer from diseases transmitted by ticks is to have a monthly perimeter insect control application done on your property. This treatment is applied such that the leaf litter is disturbed to get to those that are sheltering there. Ticks don’t climb up into trees or jump onto people. The adults climb up about 12 – 18 inches in the nearby vegetation, particularly tall grass. They then quest for a host by waving two of their legs to latch onto a passing animal or human. Treating perimeter vegetation up to about 24 inches is all that needs to be done.
One important factor to keep in mind if you have a service like this and have a dog fence out into the wooded area, you should be sure to let the company know so they can treat out to and beyond the fence for the best protection for your pet.
Get More Info From The Pros!
Looking for more information on tick spray applications or just ready to let the professionals take over your lawn care needs from here? The Grassmaster Plus team is ready and willing to answer any questions you have and can provide you a free quote on your lawn care services for the season. Contact our local office today!