Lyme disease is the highest-occurring tick-borne infection in North America and is transmitted by ticks. Deer ticks, in particular, are the ticks that can pass this infection to people, and these ticks are quite small and difficult to see. Deer ticks are about the size of a pinhead and come out in late spring and early summer. By following these steps, you can help prevent tick bites and Lyme disease.
Create a Tick-Free Zone
In order to make landscaping and outdoor activities stress-free, you must do your part to create a tick-free zone around your home. This can be done by:
- Keeping your lawn well-manicured
- Creating a tick barrier between your lawn and taller grasses or brush
- Eliminating mouse habitats and have tick tubes installed by Scientific Plant Service
- Adding a deer fence around your garden and having Scientific apply repellents to deter deer feeding
- Automatic tickicide application stations to kill ticks on deer can be installed and maintained by Scientific Plant Service
- Barrier applications to control ticks can be applied by Scientific Plant Service
A tick barrier can consist of a several-foot-wide strip of wood chips or bark that helps separate your lawn from the wilder edges of your yard. Ticks get Lyme disease from mice, so it is essential to eliminate mice from your yard and the woodpiles or rock piles in which they tend to breed. We also recommend keeping tick-carrying deer out of your yard with a tall deer fence.
Enjoy the Outdoors Safely
If you are taking part in outdoor activities, make sure you are practicing safety measures to avoid tick bites. These measures can include:
- Avoiding exposure in wooded and overgrown areas
- Staying on marked trails when hiking
- Staying out of tall grass and the un-cleared regions of forest floor
Tall brush and wild grassy areas are more likely to contain deer ticks, so it is vital to avoid them when possible.
Wear Protective Clothing and Insect Repellent
Wearing lightweight, long pants, and long shirts when hiking in wild areas can help protect tick bites on your arms and legs. For extra protection, you can apply a pesticide like Permethrin to your clothes, which is designed to protect you from tick bites by being applied to clothing rather than skin.
You can also apply an insect repellent to your exposed skin, which will most likely have to be reapplied every two to three hours. After exploring the great outdoors, take a shower as soon as you can, and wash your clothes.
Perform Tick Checks
It is crucial to remove the tick before it can transmit Lyme disease if you find a tick bite on you or your child. You can inspect yourself and other family members for tick bites after you come inside during the spring and summer. This includes feeling for ticks, which are very small and often can’t be seen. Common sites of tick attachment include behind the knees, underarm, the scalp, the navel, and back. Of course, you should also look for the small pinpoint-sized dark specks that indicate a tick in its nymph stage.
Remove Ticks Immediately
If you spot a tick, it should be removed immediately. The quickest way to remove it is with tweezers. Grasp the tick between its head and your skin and pull firmly but gently to remove it. Removing the tick within 24 hours dramatically reduces the risk of Lyme disease, and is one of your best methods of prevention.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!