Here in Connecticut, we know all too well about the dangers of ticks. When it comes to mosquito and tick-borne illnesses, this has been a pretty bad year for Americans, especially in the North East. Unfortunately for us, the threat isn’t over when fall rolls around. In fact, fall can be a very active time as ticks begin searching for a host or home to for them to overwinter on or in. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to fall tick control.
Ticks are some of the most dangerous pests affecting Americans. These tiny suckers are actually responsible for 95 percent of all vector-borne (spread by a creature) infections in the United States. Here in Connecticut, we have already had over 900 reported cases of Lyme disease infections, that’s one of the highest concentrations in the country. While there are many different species of ticks, we have five species in our area to really keep our eyes on.
In the past ten years, tick-borne infections have exploded across the country. With warmer and wetter weather and longer summers, tick populations are booming and their habitats are growing. This brings them into contact with people more often than ever before. New tick-borne diseases are constantly being discovered, and they’re scarier than ever. That being said, tick control is essential now, more than ever before.
The best tick control is tick prevention and fall is an excellent time to do this. The idea is to make your lawn as inhospitable to ticks, and other pests, as possible. This helps reduce the populations of the dangerous pest and will help keep you and your family safe. Here are a few fall tick prevention tips to make your lawn a tick-free zone.
As temperatures drop in the fall, ticks start searching for a warm place (or body) to call home. One of their favorite fall retreats is a big pile of leaves. Keeping your lawn free of leaf piles is a great way to reduce the number of potential tick hiding places. Make sure you wear long sleeves, long pants, and gloves while you’re cleaning up the leaves and make sure to check for ticks when you’ve finished.
Another great tick environment is tall grass. Ticks use tall grass like a ladder, climbing to the top and waiting for an unsuspecting animal to walk by and become their next meal. Prevent this from happening by continuing to mow your lawn until the grass stops growing. If you have tall grass or brush around the border of your property, then make sure to trim this as well. This creates a tick-free buffer zone around your lawn and will help reduce tick populations.
Ticks love to cling to trees and shrubs, especially if their branches are close to the side of a warm house. The closer they get to your home, the closer they are to you. Prevent ticks from getting close to your home by keeping your trees and shrubs trimmed away from the side of your house.
If your children’s play equipment is close to the edge of your property, then it’s a good idea to move it more towards the center. Clear the edge of your property of tall and unkempt brush or grass, then you will want your kids’ play equipment as far from that as possible. When your kids come in from playing outside, make sure you regularly check them for ticks.
When working outside, there are a few things you can do to make it difficult for ticks to hitch a ride. Preparing yourself is a great way to protect yourself. Make sure you always wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants. You may even want to tuck your pants into your socks for added protection. Wear light-colored clothes to make it easier to spot any ticks and use a bug spray with 20-30% DEET.
After you come in from working outside, always check yourself for ticks. Some diseases, like Lyme disease, require the tick to be attached for 36-48 hours before the disease is transmitted, so catching it early makes all the difference.
Don’t panic if you find a tick, just safely remove it. Using a tick remover or tweezers, grip the tick as close to the skin as you can get and gently pull it off. Once the tick has been removed, wash the area with soap and water and then keep an eye on the site for a rash.
Never use a match or heat to remove a tick. This is a folk remedy that actually does way more harm than good. The heat will actually make the tick regurgitate into you as it panics. This regurgitation can actually make it more likely for a disease like Lyme disease to be transmitted.
These tips will certainly help you create a tick-free zone in your backyard, but it’s still a good idea to invest in extra protection. The experts here at Colonel Landscaping have the fall tick control services that you need. We will assess the situation, treat the area, and then consistently treat your property to control the tick population and protect you and your family.