Follow These Tips to Avoid Ticks
Tick season is again upon us, as warm weather brings millions of Americans outdoors.
These tiny, blood-sucking parasites have been around forever, but it’s only in recent decades that people took much notice of them. The reason: Lyme disease, a debilitating infectious disease that is transmitted to humans (and pets) through tick bites.
To help you avoid these critters this year, the people at pest control company Mosquito Squad teamed up with TV host and yard expert Jason Cameron to offer the following tips:
Clear Out. Reduce your tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic areas. Separate paths or play areas with wood chips or gravel. Don’t position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas. Cameron also recommends rubber mulch under playground sets and faux turf for smaller areas that take a lot of wear.
Clean. Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep your lawn short. “Keeping your yard clean means more than just a spring and fall clean up,” Cameron said. “Before you mow, take a walk around your house and yard to determine what needs to be fixed, cut or thrown away.”
Choose Plants Carefully. If you have deer in your area, you likely have ticks. Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard. Cameron recommends bellflower, corydalis and big root geraniums, but check with your local nursery to determine the best choices for your area.
Check Hiding Places. Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places. Rake, and keep yard trash and plants at least 12 inches away from the fences, walls and foundations.
Care for Family Pets. Family pets can suffer from Lyme and other tick-borne diseases and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your veterinarian about using tick collars and sprays.
Call the Pros. “With more than 30,000 new cases of Lyme disease diagnosed annually, consider professional help to ensure your yard is tick-free,” Cameron said, in a statement. Pros utilize both barrier sprays that can kill live ticks on the spot as well as “tick tubes.” Strategically placed, “tick tubes” prompt field mice to incorporate tick-killing material in their bedding, effectively eliminating hundreds of tick nymphs found in each mouse nest.
In short, make your home and yard less attractive to ticks, and you’ll face much less of a chance of being bitten by one.
Copyright Today’s Credit Unions