7 min read
Ticks in Ohio and Northern Kentucky have always been a problem. Concern over Lyme Disease as well as newer tick-borne diseases that have emerged, such as the Powassan Virus (referred to as POW for short), have many people worried. POW has been named more dangerous than Lyme Disease and it’s got a lot of homeowners concerned about tick control for their yard.
While disease is the scariest prospect of having ticks in your yard, they are also a nuisance to your family and your pets. The last thing you feel like doing after enjoying an evening in the yard is combing through your children’s hair and pet’s fur. Tick bites can be painful, cause irritation, and of course can also transmit disease. There are a lot of good reasons to keep these pests as far from your property as possible.
Ticks are a common concern in our region. Let’s explore some important facts about ticks that you should know.
Ticks can range in size from poppy seeds to apple seeds. The Common Dog Tick is typically quite visible and larger in size. Unfortunately, one of the smallest ticks, the Deer Tick, is also one of the most dangerous.
There are many species of ticks, but only deer ticks carry Lyme Disease. Still, it’s important to note that not every deer tick is infected with Lyme. While Lyme Disease is the most well-known tick-borne disease, the CDC has more than a dozen of them listed on their website with different species carrying different diseases. POW is said to be transmitted by the Blacklegged Tick and the Groundhog Tick.
While they are big in the news during the warmer months, ticks in Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio, and Northern Kentucky actually feed all year long. Though they are not as active in winter, they’re still around. In fact, unseasonable warmth during the winter months can cause a surge in tick activity. That’s why a program that offers year-round tick control for your yard is important.
You probably already know that ticks are commonly found in tall grasses, but ticks can actually be found in many areas around your home. In addition to tall grasses, ticks are also commonly found under leaves, in ground cover, and around stone walls and wood piles. Edge habitats (areas that are a transition between the manicured part of your lawn and the naturalized surrounding brush) are also a hotspot for ticks. You can reduce tick populations at home by removing conducive environments whenever possible.
Anywhere that you would find mice and other small rodents are hotspots for ticks. In fact, some ticks feed primarily on these pests in their early stages and move onto larger prey as they mature.
Of course, tick control for your yard is important, but taking care of any rodent problems you may have will also be beneficial in reducing your tick population.
Contrary to popular belief, ticks do not fly, jump, or even fall from trees as many think. They crawl slowly, and tend to wind up on you when you stand in or near their habitat. Ticks use a hunting technique called “questing”. They hold onto vegetation and put some of their legs out. When prey passes by, they immediately let go and latch on. If you’ve walked through tall grass or wooded areas, you should absolutely be diligent about checking yourself, your loved ones, and your pets for ticks.
It’s important to note how long the tick fed before you discovered it. If it is relatively flat, that means the tick attached recently and hasn’t been feeding long. If it’s engorged or burrowed into the skin, the tick may have fed for an extended time.
Research conducted by Ohio State University has found that transmission of disease, such as Lyme, begins at approximately 24 hours. There is greater risk for infection the longer feeding occurs.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about removing ticks. It’s been said that some ways to remove a tick include burning or drowning it, but these are not ideal. Don’t use any method that will leave the tick on your skin for extra time.
The idea is to get it off promptly and to remove as much of it as you can (ideally the entire thing all at once). The best way to do that is using fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull upward on the tick with steady, even pressure. After removing the tick, clean the area thoroughly. Be sure that you’ve removed all of it.
Pets are prone to getting ticks. To prevent ticks from biting your pets (and your pets carrying ticks into your home), follow your veterinarian's instructions in terms of preventative applications of medication. Even if you have your yard treated to prevent ticks, you should still treat your pets as well for an added layer of protection. This will also protect your pet should you take them hiking or other places off your property.
The number one way to prevent contracting a tick-borne disease is to prevent getting bit in the first place. When it comes to ticks, be diligent. Wear protective clothing, check one another, use repellant sprays on clothing and skin, and of course treat your property. None of these things should be a substitute for another. Do all of them to keep yourself and your loved ones as protected as possible. You can also keep your environment tidier. Trim down tall grasses and ornamental shrubs if possible, keep your grass regularly mowed, don’t allow debris to collect in your yard, and keep wood piles away from areas where you and your family play or relax.
As mentioned, it’s important to take a multi-step approach to keep ticks away from your home. Finding tick control companies in Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio and Northern Kentucky is definitely one approach you should take. Some lawn care companies, like Oasis Turf & Tree, do offer tick control for your yard.
Treating your yard to prevent ticks is a valuable addition to your lawn care program. At Oasis Turf & Tree, our Ant, Flea & Tick Pest Control service is only a fraction of the cost of other providers but delivers tremendous value by keeping these dangerous pests away from your property. Our four-step application process helps keep fleas, ticks, and ants away year-round so that you can truly enjoy your time outdoors without worrying about ticks.
If you’d like to find out more about tick control for your Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio or Northern Kentucky yard, contact us for a free consultation or give us a call at 513-697-9090 so that we can answer your questions.
Image Sources: deer tick, deer tick on finger, tick removal, field mouse
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