Last week I attended an event called In your back yard and in your community in Essex, MA. They put on the seminar to educate about ticks and tick-borne illnesses – most notably Lyme Disease. Most likely everyone knows someone who is suffering with Lyme Disease or who has suffered with a tick-borne illness at one time or another. It’s scary. Ticks are everywhere and are carried around by the ever-increasing deer population and also by other pets and pests. For example, mice can carry ticks to places throughout your yard.
Here is a quick summary of what you need to know.
It’s good to know that ticks don’t jump. In order to get a tick, you have to come in contact with them whether they’re traveling by a host animal or pet, sitting on a plant or grass that you brush up against or sitting on a fence or wood pile that you sit on or pick something up from.
Education is key here. Knowing where ticks hang out is the first step. The next step is trying to stay away from those areas. It sounds sort of silly to say that we have to stay away from grass to stay away from ticks but other areas like tall grasses and wood piles are easier to stay away from. I will tell you a bit more about protecting your grass down below.
But for many of us, staying away from plants and tall grasses and trees is just not going to work. Most of us either love to garden or love to walk and spend time outside, to hike or even to hunt. So here’s the next step in protection against ticks.
The next step in tick protection and tick-borne disease prevention is having a good method of checking. The best thing to do is a regular tick check when you are spending time outside. You should do this on yourself as well as on your children. In the meeting, the town suggested you check yourself once every day. Here is where to look. “Favorite places ticks like to go on your body include areas between the toes, back of the knees, groin, armpits, and neck, along the hairline and behind the ears.”
It’s also important to think about wearing light-colored clothing. This allows you to easily see when you have brushed up against a tick that has moved to you as its next host. And, it’s important to know that ticks take a couple hours to get to the spot on your body where they will have their blood meal. So, a quick shower after spending the day outdoors or a tick check immediately after a long time in the heavy tick breeding grounds is also a good idea.
By now you’re probably either thinking about cutting your summer short or just throwing your arms up in the air. The summer is beautiful in Essex and all around the Northshore. We’re not going to throw our arms up in the air about spending lots and lots of time outside throughout the spring and summer.
The town provided some great easy tips to add a lot of tick protection to your yard and the areas where you will be hanging out. This is directly from their brochure.
- Keep grass cut short
- Remove leaf litter and brush from around your home
- Prune low lying bushes
- Keep woodpiles and bird feeders off the ground and away from your home
- Keep the plants around stone walls cut short
- Use a three-foot wide wood chip, mulch or gravel barrier where your lawn meets the woods.
- Ask your local nursery about plants to use in your yard that do not attract deer
- Use deer fencing for yards 15 acres or more
There is a way that you can protect your grass. You can protect your grass and the plants around your yard using a barrier treatment. A barrier treatment is a treatment that is applied to your yard, plants and grass every 3 weeks. It not only kills ticks and mosquitoes on contact but there is a time-released residual encapsulation that adheres to plants to continue to kill ticks and mosquitoes that feed and harbor on and in these areas. This is what we do. We provide a regular barrier treatment (every 3 weeks) to your yard to keep mosquitoes and ticks away. Our treatment will kill 85 – 95% of the ticks and mosquitoes in your yard. How would you like to reduce your chance of getting Lyme Disease by 85 – 95%?
Mosquito Squad of the North Shore constantly tracks any new insight that may help us to prevent ticks and the diseases they harbor. Our goal is to keep our neighbors safe and aware at the same time.
If you are interested in learning about ways Mosquito Squad of the North Shore can keep your property and outdoor living areas safe all summer long from ticks and mosquitoes, contact us today.