As spring gets closer and closer, tick season is right behind. Usually a couple months after the weather starts to get warmer, the ticks come back in full force in May and June, lying in wait in the grass and plants. That means, as you’re mowing your lawn, planting flowers and engaging in tree maintenance in Newton, MA this spring, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for these pests.
Ticks are parasites that typically measure three to five millimeters long. They feed on the blood of animals like birds, mammals and some reptiles and amphibians. They’ve been doing so since at least the Cretaceous period, and have evolved since then to survive and thrive in a wide variety of environments and climates across the globe. There are an estimated 900 species of ticks in the world, with 90 in the U.S. alone.
Some types of ticks carry diseases such as Lyme disease, Tularemia, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis and other types of viruses. In fact, they are second only to mosquitoes in terms of insects that carry human diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), illnesses caused by parasites like ticks have more than tripled since 2004. In addition, ticks cause about 75 percent of all illnesses that are vector-borne.
Ticks will generally be found in tall grasses. They stay on the tips of blades purposefully to attach themselves to animals that walk by. Ticks do not jump from the plant onto a host—this is a common misconception. The only way ticks can latch on to their hosts is through physical contact.
Keeping yourself safe from ticks this spring
So, what can you do to keep yourself safe from ticks? After all, you’re almost never going to notice them when you’re walking through an area, especially one that’s thick with tall grass. They’re not at eye level, and they’re small enough that they won’t stand out. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Use repellent: Find an EPA-registered insect repellent, and make sure to use it during flea and tick season when you’re going to be out in an area that’s likely to harbor ticks.
- Consider your clothing: If you’re going to be walking through tall grasses and woods, or spending any significant amount of time outside during tick season, consider wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. This will prevent ticks from being able to latch onto your skin.
- Take care of your pets: Your pets can be a major source of attraction for ticks. Make sure to use flea and tick control products. There are some that kill ticks when they try to bite into the animal. There are also certain types of shampoos and topical products that can make animals less attractive to ticks.
- Treat your clothing: You can treat clothes, footwear and other gear with permethrin, which will serve as a potent tick repellant.
- Remove: After you’ve spent some time outside, carefully scan yourself, as well as anyone with you (including your pets), for ticks. If you see any ticks, remove them right away. You can flush them down the toilet, burn them with a match or crush them.
For more information about staying safe from ticks, or for help with tree maintenance in Newton, MA this spring, reach out to BBD Tree Service today.
Categorised in: Tree Maintenance
This post was written by Writer