The Growing Tick Problem

Ticks are dominating the media this spring, and for good reason. Many parts of the United States, particularly the Northeast, are seeing an increase in the tick problem this year. Given the increasing number of tick borne illnesses the CDC reported earlier this year, it’s a good idea to be a bit more concerned than usual. Add to this the fact that new species are being discovered on a regular basis, including the self-cloning Asian tick that was just discovered in New Jersey, and people have a right to be worried.

Fortunately, many people are taking the risk quite seriously. Sheer numbers of ticks had Tower Hill Botanic Garden cancelling an annual nature walk a few weeks ago, and media reports are causing more people than ever to take a closer look at how to prevent ticks. The last thing you want to do is stay inside this summer, so what can you do to prevent a tick problem when you’re outside? These tips can help.

  • When you’re in an area that might play host to ticks (grassy, wooded areas tend to be loaded with ticks), wear lighter colored clothing. That will help you spot them easily. Be sure to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, too. Tuck your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants. You may also want to treat your clothes with an insect repellent to help avoid problems.
  • Wear a repellent that contains DEET or Picaridin. Be sure to follow the directions on the label.
  • After you’ve come back inside, be sure to shower within two hours. Wash your clothes and dry them for at least ten minutes to be sure any ticks you may have brought in on your clothes are dead. During your shower, check your body extensively for ticks. They tend to like the warmest areas of the body like behind the knees, the groin, and the armpits, so make sure to do a thorough inspection.

It’s important to remember that hiking in the woods or heading to a picnic isn’t the only place you can find ticks. They could be right in your backyard, too. You can try to create a tick-free zone by ensuring that your grass is mowed, and your yard is clutter free, which should cut the population significantly. You can also ensure that your play surfaces are well away from woodland edges. Putting wood chips under your play surface can also help to reduce the tick problem in your yard.

Need a bit more help reducing the tick population in your yard? Give us a call today to learn more about our tick reduction program and enjoy your yard this summer!

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