As the summer outdoor season ramps up and families head to their backyards, cottages and nature trails, tick exposure skyrockets throughout the Midwest. Known to live in tall grass and wooded areas, several species of ticks, including the Lyme disease-spreading Blacklegged ticks, can pose a threat to homeowners, campers and outdoor adventurers alike.
But there’s no need to cut back on the outdoor action.
“Prevention and awareness are the keys to avoiding tick trouble this summer and throughout the year,” said Dale Hodgson, Rose Pest Solutions B.C.E. Regional Technical Manager. “It can start with simple household items to identify whether or not ticks may be present in a given area.”
Known in the wonderful world of bugs as a “tick drag” homeowners can secure the end of a light colored bed sheet around a yard stick with several binder clips. To conduct the test, simply drag the sheet along the ground near the edge of a wooded area, tall grass or other area of concern. Flip the sheet over for inspection.
“While the ‘tick drag’ is not a fool-proof method of tracking ticks, it is as a simple and cost-efficient way to help identify areas ticks may – or may not – be living to help avoid human contact and provide peace of mind to campers, homeowners and anyone trying to enjoy the great outdoors,” Hodgson said.
While there are many tick species, the Blacklegged is of greatest concern to humans as the carrier of Lyme disease. Though prevalent in wooded and tall grassy areas in the summer, ticks can survive cold temperatures and can pose a threat throughout the year, especially to hunters during deer season.
Rose Pest Solutions offers the following to help homeowners and outdoor enthusiasts identify, prevent and properly treat ticks:
Be sure to apply at least 20 percent DEET repellent when engaging in wooded areas. Animal owners are encouraged to apply tick products to your pets that frequent outdoor areas. to dogs and cats that frequent these areas as well.
Ticks generally require 24 to 48 hours of feeding before successfully transmitting diseases to humans and animals alike. If you find a tick on your body and removed it within the first 24 hours of contact, infection is unlikely.
The small arachnids do not “jump” but instead attach themselves to humans or animals that brush by them in wooded or tall grassy areas.
Ticks are generally attracted to animals that frequent wooded areas and tall grass such as rabbits, raccoons, skunks and deer, but will happily cling to household pets and humans as well.
Wearing Permethrin-infused (or tick repellent) clothing drastically decreases the odds of ticks clinging to humans. Wearing light colored clothing also helps to easily identify the dark critters.
To protect a campsite, backyard or other area of activity, maintain a 3 yard distance between dense foliage, tall grass, debris and woodpiles.
Proactive and consistent inspections are key to preventing a tick interaction. After being outdoors or near areas of concern, family members should inspect their children, pets and themselves for ticks after each outing.
For homeowners looking to eradicate ticks from their property, Rose offers barrier treatment services that focus on weed lines, edges of wooded areas or other spots in which the arachnids can flourish. Rose can also manage tick hosts like rodents and nuisance wildlife on the property.
For more information about tick removal, please visit www.rosepestsolutions.com.