It sounds a little absurd when you first say it. There’s no grass, no trees, no deer running around… none of the things you think of when you think ticks, and yet it is possible. In fact, channel 47 ABC reported last week of a Facebook post from a man that found a tick in his hair after a visit to Ocean City. (And we’ve seen them with our own eyes out on the Cape!)
Ticks Are on the Beach
Ginny Rosenkranz, an educator at the University of Maryland Extension, went on to explain how ticks find their way to the beach. She reminds us of the animals we find at the beach. There are seagulls and we know that birds carry ticks. People bring their dogs for walks on the beach and we know dogs carry ticks. Some beaches, such as Assateague Island even allow horses on the beach and horses carry ticks. Does it start to make you wonder why we assumed there wouldn’t be ticks on the beach?
Once a tick makes it to the beach, the tall sea grass is actually pretty perfect for them. Ticks latch onto people through a process called questing. This is where they crawl to the top of a blade of grass and hold on with their back legs, reaching out and waiting to grab hold of whatever walks by. Again, seagrass is kind of perfect for that.
Check Yourself for Ticks After EVERY Outdoor Adventure
All that said, ticks are still fairly rare at the beach compared to inland. No one is saying you should put your bathing suit away and pull out your safari gear before you head to the shoreline. At Mosquito Squad of Southeastern Massachusetts, we are simply reminding you that you should always check for ticks when you return home from your Massachusetts outdoor adventures no matter where you were, be it a hiking trail, the park, or yes, even the beach. If you were to actually pick up a tick and bring it home, the faster you remove it, the less likely you to get sick with Lyme or any of the diseases a tick may carry. Have more questions about the best ways to protect your family from ticks? Call us today. We’d love to open up that conversation.