It’s summertime, which means outdoor picnics, hiking, gardening —oh, and tick bites. As you know these creepy crawlies live on plants and trees in wooded, brushy, grassy places and shrub lands. They jump aboard passing animals and people in order to bite and feed on blood. Because ticks are very small (one-quarter inch or less), they’re hard to see or feel. But you can take steps to avoid the nasty critters, here are 10 ways to keep those little suckers away from you this summer.
Dress This Way
People tend to think of tank tops and flip flops for the summer, but unfortunately such clothing can make you more vulnerable to ticks. When in a tick prone environment, it’s best to dress to protect. Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and a hat with a flap or brim to protect your neck. Tuck your pant legs into your socks or hiking boots, or wear gaiters. Keep your shirt tucked in, too. Choose light-colored clothing so you can see ticks more easily and brush them off if they hitch a ride. And if possible, spray Permethrin, a tick repellant, on your clothing.
Quick Dry Clothing
Because ticks are so vulnerable to drying out, the hitchhiking parasites can be killed by giving clothing a quick whirl in the dryer on high heat for five minutes. Ticks can survive the wash, and people who have to both wash and dry their clothes may just toss their clothing into a pile for later. It’s better to do a quick dry cycle immediately than to let the tick linger.
Check Your Pet
Though American dog ticks don’t usually harbor diseases that sicken people, the lone star tick can often hitchhike on a pet into the home, so pet owners should check pets for the bugs as soon as they come indoors. When returning from walks or time spent outside, inspect your pet thoroughly. Brush your fingers through their fur applying enough pressure to feel any small bumps. Be especially attentive if your pet has been in wooded areas or high grasses, where pests flourish. Find more tips to protect your pets here.
Just Say No to Deer
Deer are a common carrier of ticks, and they can deliver them straight to your yard if you live in an area where deer are prevalent. While it may be charming to look out your window and watch deer grazing, it’s in your best interest to keep them and other wildlife out if you want to control the tick population. A traditional chain-link fence won’t suffice, as deer can jump quite high, so a privacy fence (at least six feet tall) is your best bet. Deer repellent also will help.
Break a Bad Habitat
One of the best things you can do to control the tick population in your yard is to remove and control their habitats. Cut tall grass, trim foliage, and use a mulch barrier to prevent ticks from traveling into the yard. This won’t eliminate ticks altogether, but it will help reduce their presence. Our Tick program can do the rest. It was developed specifically to eliminate them within your property. In a process similar to our Mosquito Shield, our tick formula is applied to all turf, wood lines, and landscape beds around your property to effectively kill fleas & ticks within those areas.