Each year the tick forecast remains bleak. Populations continue to explode while the diseases they are discovered to carry become increasingly obscure. Whether the cause is our changing climate, fragmentation of natural habitats, or simply due to natural ecological changes, the fact is that ticks are everywhere! Mowing the grass or walking your pet now involves increased diligence around protecting yourself.
Ticks can be the size of a poppy seed. Can you spot all 5 ticks in this photo? Learn how to prevent tick bites. https://t.co/ATtrY7YFoS pic.twitter.com/gBm4tw2qmf
— CDC (@CDCgov) May 4, 2018
The CDC recommends a comprehensive approach that includes a mix of precautionary measures around your home and thorough body inspections when you are outdoors. By wearing long pants treated with repellant or essential oils like eucalyptus, the opportunity to contact ticks on the skin is limited. A thorough check of the body including underarms, between legs, behind knees, and behind ears will help discover newly contracted ticks to prevent bites and identify any irritated areas on the skin where a bit may have occurred. Checking and treating pets is also recommended.
Removing wood piles, leaf piles, and brush piles from around the property will eliminate habitats for both ticks and their host species such as mice, deer, and rabbits. Instituting a 3-6’ mulch or gravel border around the perimeter of your property will help reduce the opportunity for ticks to migrate into the landscape. Treating the property with a registered pesticide during active periods throughout the year also can reduce populations and contact.
An effective approach to tick control will be multi-pronged, involving a mix of proactivity and hyper-vigilance. Talk to your Hartney Greymont arborist about what management strategies would be most helpful on your property to keep you and your loved ones safe.