A lot of experts are predicting that this will be an extremely heavy tick season. When you have a mild winter like the one just that just passed, it allows ticks and other pest insects to survive, breed and emerge earlier than usual. When the new tick population hatched, they had an abundance of mice to feed on, and it is only a matter of time before they look for more ways to feed… humans (yuck!)
But, there are ways to protect your family from ticks this spring and summer. Here are some of our tips!
How can we control ticks?
My advice is to make your yard extremely unattractive to ticks. Below, we have a few ways you can do that… and CLM is happy to help you with any of these.
- Get your yard treated by a professional. There are organic and traditional tick control options. If using organic tick control, which we typically recommend because it is safe for kids and pets to be on, we recommend doing this once a month from April – November. CLM offers this service to homes throughout Fairfield County.
- Ticks love moisture. Don’t recreate or place play structures in damp or dark areas of the lawn. Fewer ticks are found in sunny areas, so try to keep the places where you congregate in the sun.
- Keep the lawn mowed! Ticks don’t like short vegetation. Make sure you to keep up with the mowing, keep wood, leaf litter and brush away from your home.
- Deer and white footed mice are common carriers of ticks. Use deer resistant plants, deer fences and avoid placing bird feeders in the yard.
- Use a boundary in your yard. Research shows that 90% of deer ticks will be found on the transition area from the woods to your lawn. Placing a three foot barrier of wood chips around the perimeter of your lawn can help be a buffer zone.
Do tick checks!
Now that we are all spending so much time outside, it is important to do a tick check every night on yourself, your kids and your pets. Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed and very good at hiding, specifically in warm, dark places. Don’t forget to check in these places. They include:
- The hairline, specifically behind the ear and back of your neck
- Inside the ear
- Elbow and knee creases
- Belly button
- Groin area, specifically on men and boys
- Under your armpits
- Belt area
- Under your watch strap
- Sides of your body
What do you do if you find a tick on your body or on a family member?
If you find a tick on you and it is crawling – remove it and put it in plastic bag or jar with a lid. You can always call us (CLM) in this scenario, or text us a photo of the tick so we’re aware of what is in your yard.
If the tick is feeding and embedded in your skin, don’t panic – but you do need to remove it. Proper removal of the tick is key, and the likelihood of getting Lyme Disease from it in less than 24 hours is slim.
If you have to remove a tick, here are some tips:
- Use a proper tool for removal. Tweezers, a tick spoon or a tick key will work – do not use your fingers! If you squeeze the tick it can spit out nasty pathogens. Do not use a lighter to “burn it out” – this can also be harmful (in addition to being dangerous) as it can regurgitate.
- If using tweezers, grab the tick as close to the base as possible.
- If using a spoon or key, slide the divot around the body of the tick.
- Slowly and steadily pull upward, without twisting. You do not want parts of the head or mouth to remain in the skin as it will lead to infection. If some parts can’t be removed, thoroughly clean the area before trying again.
- Save the tick in a plastic bag or jar (with lid). See if you can identify the species of tick, as this may be helpful if you do require medical attention. You can always text or email a photo of the tick to CLM for help in identifying the type.
- Call your doctor or pediatrician for a recommendation on where to send the tick for disease testing. You can also use the CT agricultural website for guidelines on testing, here. Most labs can get you results in 72 hours, and sometimes a local town hall also offers testing. Your doctor will also provide proper protocol for treatment, if necessary.
- Clean the bite site using rubbing alcohol or an antibacterial soap, clean both the bite location and the tool you used to remove the tick.
- Pay attention to the bite site – it might be helpful to circle it with a pen so you remember where to check. Symptoms of Lyme disease can include a bull’s-eye rash, or general flu-like symptoms such as fever, achiness or a general lack of energy. These symptoms can develop 3-30 days after being bit, so keep an eye on the bite site for the next month.
The goal at CLM Maintenance is to help you control ticks with safer and effective treatments. They’ve been in the landscaping business for 30+ years. With recent training and education on on how to treat the tick population, they offer you solutions to meet your tick control needs. Our focus is on organic options to help reduce the threat of ticks to your family and pets. They can alter any tick package as needed.
Call (203) 829-3852 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your appointment!
This post is sponsored by CLMN Maintenance.