Wondering how to keep ticks out of your yard this summer? Here are some handy tips to help keep them at bay.
Tick Prevention: What are Ticks?
Ticks are arachnids that are related to spiders but, unlike most spiders, ticks are dangerous as they can pass along diseases when they bite. So, how do you keep ticks out of your yard? There are some steps you can follow, but realistically, if you live in the woods or close to forest you are more prone to having ticks around. However, living in the city won’t get you off the hook either.
To better understand these creatures, it’s good to learn more about them. Generally, ticks have eight legs like their spider relatives. They start life as an egg then become a larva, a nymph, and finally an adult.
Ticks must ingest blood at every stage of their life to survive. They ingest blood from mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians. If you are bitten by a tick that has been affected by a bacteria, virus or parasite, it can cause a risk to your health.
Types of Ticks and Risks to Your Health
There are three different species of ticks: black-legged (deer), dog and lone star. They can transmit up to 15 different diseases. The black-legged tick transmits the most frightening of the diseases – Lyme disease. However, if you have the tick removed properly within 24 hours, your chances of getting Lyme disease is low.
A tick will find a spot on the host and try to set up camp. Unlike a mosquito that flies in, pricks the skin and gets out quickly, a tick may burrow in and feast for as long as two or three days. It anchors into the skin, sets up its feeding tube, spits out a saliva that works to thin the blood and starts feasting, allowing the transmission of diseases in the process.
How to Keep Ticks Out of Your Yard
Although they can be a menace, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of having ticks in your yard, on yourself or your pets.
First, always be aware of your surroundings and don’t let your guard down. If you’re working outside, make sure you’re wearing long sleeves, pants and tall boots, with your pants tucked into your boots. When taking breaks, visually inspect yourself, family or pets for any ticks.
Around your yard, avoid having large piles of brush or leaves, keep your lawn trimmed short and mow frequently, and use wood chips as a barrier between lawn and wooded areas. Remember to also keep patio furniture and playground equipment in a sunny area, avoid leaving trash laying around, keep all wood dry and stacked, and make use of acaricides (tick pesticide) for an added layer of protection.
If you have more concerns about how to keep ticks out of your yard through lawn maintenance or any other landscaping questions, contact the experts at Wright Landscape Services.