The first thing to know about ticks is that they are dangerous. Tick-borne diseases have grown more prevalent over the past decade and it doesn’t look like that’s changing anytime soon. In fact, ticks are responsible for 95% of all vector-borne infections. Over the last ten years, this region has had the highest concentration of tick-borne disease infections in America, and it’s not even close. While there are lots of different species in ticks, we have four ticks to worry about here in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Ticks and the Diseases They Carry:
- American Dog Tick: Rocky mountain spotted fever, canine tick paralysis, and tularemia.
- Blacklegged Tick (Deer Tick): Lyme Disease, Powassan virus, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis.
- Lone Star Tick: Tularemia, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI), Bourbon virus, Heartland virus, and an allergy to red meat.
- Brown Dog Tick: Tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
This past decade has seen a boom in the American tick population. Warmer and wetter weather along with longer summers mean tick habitats are growing. This means they are coming into contact with people more often now than ever before. On top of that, new tick-borne diseases are popping up every year. All of this means tick control has never been more important.
Tick prevention is the best form of control. Ensuring your lawn is a tick-free zone by using cultural practices to make your lawn is inhospitable to ticks is a great way to reduce the population of these dangerous pests. Here are a few highly-effective fall tick prevention tips.
In the fall, ticks look for warm places to hide out and wait for their next meal to walk by. A pile of leaves is a common hiding spot for ticks. Reduce the likelihood of running into a tick this fall by removing any piles of leaves, sticks, or twigs in your yard. By removing this common hiding place, you’ll be dissuading ticks from making a home in your yard.
Children under ten are more likely to contract Lyme disease than any other age group. Help protect the kids while they’re playing in the yard by making sure your child’s play structure and toys are far from any long grass or tall brush. If possible, move everything towards the center of your yard, making sure it’s not under any low-hanging trees. Keep the grass short around these structures and make sure to check your kids for ticks when they come inside.
Ticks also love hiding out in tall grass. They climb to the top of a blade of grass and wait for something to walk by and become their next meal/home. Eliminate this tick habitat by keeping your grass cut short throughout the fall. If there is tall grass and wild brush around the edge of your property, you should also cut this down. By doing this, you’ll create a tick-free buffer zone around your lawn.
Quickly and Safely Remove Ticks
Do a thorough tick-check of yourself after you come inside, making sure you check your ears, hairline, neck, armpits, groin, legs, knees, and toes. Ticks and their nymphs are very small so you’ll need to really look for them.
It can take 36-48 hours for a disease like Lyme disease to be transmitted from a tick bite, so it’s important to remove a tick as soon as possible. Use a pair of tweezers or a tick remover to grip the tick by the head, as close to the skin as possible, and gently pull it off. After removing it, wash the area with soap and water. Continue to monitor the site for a few days, keeping an eye out for a rash or a fever.
Call In The Experts
The most effective way to avoid mosquito bites is to implement a long-term solution by calling The Mosquito Guy. Did you know that The Mosquito Guy now has two locations to serve you better? That’s right along with our North Attleboro location we are now offering Cape Cod Mosquito Control and Cape Cod Tick Control to Cape Cod MA.
Keep yourself, your family and your pets safe! Have your yard sprayed by the mosquito guy!
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