Ticks, the very word makes us cringe. It’s common knowledge that ticks can carry lyme disease and that we often find them on ourselves, on loved ones and pets. As a pest control company we encounter a lot of questions about ticks, and some of those questions may be based off of misconceptions. We’d like to clear up some of those misconceptions and help you and your loved ones and pets prevent ticks as much as possible.
- Pets: One of the best scientific advances in animal medicine was the invention of tick prevention materials. Products like Frontline and Advantage are essential if you have an outdoor pet. Get them from a distributor and use them according to the label guidelines. If your pet picks up a tick, this will help to control them.
- Tick Habitats: Ticks will very seldomly fall off of trees and they aren’t found in most mowed lawns in abundant numbers. Ticks target small rodents and animals. They will “quest”, meaning they will position themselves to be at the height of the animals they attempt to attach themselves to. This means “edge habitats” are a probably place you or your pet will pick up ticks. Areas with un-mowed grass and underbrush will most likely have ticks inhabiting them, trying to attach themselves to rodents and deer. Your landscape shrubs may also harbor ticks. Likewise, any area that is likely to harbor rodents like a wood pile, trash or leaf piles, etc. will be hot spots for ticks. If you remove the vector (animal carrying the ticks) you can make a dent in tick populations. If you remove the edge habitat or your presence in it, even better.
- Tick Control: You don’t have to use highly toxic pesticides to reduce your tick exposure. Wearing long sleeved shirts and pants will keep them off of your skin. Just make sure to inspect your clothes when you remove them. Materials with 20% or more of DEET will do an excellent job of keeping ticks off of you and have been commonly used for years. If you know you are spending time in a tick haven, apply some of it to your clothes and legs. If you have areas that may be frequented by dogs and people you can also hire a pest control company to apply labeled materials to reduce tick numbers at times of year when tick activity is high. Using a pest control service to regularly treat your home will also help reduce ticks that may make their way inside. If you are interested in spraying for ticks outside to reduce your chances, they may also offer exterior tick control treatments for spring through summer when tick populations are at their worst.
Be careful out there. Think like a tick and understand where you may find them. Make a plan to prevent them and use a buddy to check one another when you come home before you could bring them into your home.
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