While it defies reason and seems unlikely, you were quite likely not mistaken when you saw a tick on the beach this summer. While there is not a lot of thick grass, a ton of deer or trees for shade, ticks will venture out on the sand looking for a blood meal when conditions are right.
While it certainly would be less likely in the heat of the summer sun, in May a man found a tick in his hair after spending time on the beach in Ocean City.
How Do Ticks Get To the Beach?
Consider for a moment the animals you do see on the beach. Seagulls? Pigeons. Dogs. Horses. And certainly, deer will wander out on the beach when people are not present if near a forested area. Birds, dogs, horses, and other small mammals can all carry ticks to the beach where they fall off and look for their next host.
How Do Ticks Survive on the Beach?
Tall seagrass makes a perfect habitat for ticks. They can hide and stay cool. They can also climb to the top of the blades to make finding their next host a piece of cake. Have you ever dragged your chairs, cooler and beach towels through seagrass to find the perfect spot on the sand? Ticks could be lurking.
Depending on what you are planning for the day, repellent might not be a reasonable suggestion for your beach outing. That being said, if you can’t use permethrin on your clothes, or DEET on your skin, be sure to follow the other steps of the tick safety protocol. Including checking yourself for ticks after a day at the beach. Take a shower when you get home and make sure to check from toe to head for stow-aways. Throw all your clothing, towels and other fabrics in the dryer on high to kill off any ticks that didn’t make it to your body yet.
At Mosquito Squad of the North Shore, we urge you to take tick precautions no matter where your outdoor adventures take you. And when you’re at home, enjoying your own property, remember our tick control program can lower your risks for tick bites. Call today to get started: (978) 597-7168.