For the past several years, Lyme disease spread by ticks has become increasingly dangerous in the New England area. Ticks are a resilient species that are active for much of the year which often includes the cold weather months. Ticks thrive the most in warm weather, but according to the University of Connecticut Home and Garden Education Center, they can also be active at any temperature above 30℉ (Ticks, 2016).
Due to the temperatures rising across the country, Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness, is also becoming more prevalent and the breeding season is becoming longer. The Black-Legged Tick, also known as the Deer Tick, is one of the more common parasite species in New England and is the #1 carrier of Lyme disease (2016). Lyme is an illness with diverse symptoms such as rash, fever, and even arthritis that last for many months, which is why taking preventative measures is the most assured way to protect your family.
A neat lawn is a safe lawn.
One simple way to discourage ticks from inhabiting your yard this winter is to keep your lawn neat and orderly. Trimming down any brush and removing weeds or long grasses will help prevent ticks from inhabiting the area. While it may seem cold outside, the ground stays warmer than the air, which can keep ticks active for longer than expected. After removing any unnecessary brush, take another preventative step by researching tick deterrents.
Another effective prevention against the dangers of ticks is to treat your lawn with all-natural tick deterrents. This will help reduce tick populations in your yard and around the perimeter of your property. MissionGreen offers an innovative tick control program crafted with natural, earth-friendly essential oils that wards off these harmful pests.
Check pets and deter pests.
Animals, both wild and domestic, are very popular hosts for these incredibly small parasites. During the winter months, small mammals such as mice may try to seek shelter in your home. Barricading any holes or entrances to your house can prevent intruders who might be infested with ticks. Ticks will crawl long distances in order to get to a host, so keeping them far away from the house is your best option.
Another way that ticks enter your home is through family pets that have traveled outdoors. Your pet’s fur can be a perfect camouflaged spot for the Black-Legged tick, which is recognized by a black dorsal shield and a reddish-brown body underneath. Asking your veterinarian about various flea-and-tick prevention will assure that any ticks preying on your cat or dog will die off. These applications are also another step to prevent your pet from getting infected with arthritis-causing Lyme.
Stop stragglers at your door.
The last preventative measure that should be taken to help prevent tick exposure is to be mindful and check yourself or your children for any ticks after yard work or playtime outside. Scanning your clothes and brushing your fingers through your hair may catch extremely small tick species such as the infamous Black-legged tick you otherwise would not have found. Routinely doing this before entering your home can prevent any ticks from inhabiting your space and infecting you. If you do happen to find that you have been bitten by a tick, be alert for any symptoms of Lyme disease, but do not fear: The U.S. National Library of Medicine confirms that the chances of the disease spreading to the host are much less likely to occur if the tick is removed by tweezers within 36 hours (Understanding, 2017). You may also wish to seek out a local lab to send the tick off for testing.
Lyme disease is an increasing concern in New England, which is why we want to help you properly defend your household. It is essential to know how to adequately protect your family from tick bites and Lyme disease especially during the winter when people assume that ticks aren’t active. Taking preventative measures such as applying tick deterrent to a freshly-trimmed lawn and scanning your pets for ticks are the most effective and simple ways to manage the growing tick population.
We hope you found these tips helpful! If you are seeking an effective tick prevention spray for your yard, MissionGreen offers an All-Natural Mosquito and Tick Control Program.
Guest blog author: Victoria McNally