Fall is officially here and with it comes beautiful foliage, cool weather, and… ticks. That’s right folks, we’re not out of the woods yet. Spring and summer are typically the seasons where ticks are most active but, here in New Hampshire, and much of the country, we have been experiencing warmer and wetter falls and winters. Higher temperatures and increased humidity mean we will continue to see an increase in tick encounters which makes fall tick prevention especially important.
Ticks are more than just annoying pests that drink our blood, they are carriers of some serious diseases. The blacklegged tick (deer tick), American dog tick, and woodchuck tick are the 3 ticks responsible for the most infections in the state. Here in New Hampshire, there are 5 diseases being tracked that are transmitted via the bite of a tick:
Across the country, more people are being infected with tick-borne diseases than ever before. New diseases are showing up all the time and are spreading into areas where human-tick interactions were previously rare. Conditions like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, and Tick Paralysis are being transmitted to more people across the country. While these other illnesses are very rare in New Hampshire, it’s important to be aware and prepared.
There are a number of ways to make sure that you and your loved ones stay safe and tick-free this fall:
Ticks will look for warmth as the temperatures fall. Piles of leaves and branches are common hiding places for them. Rake your leaves and dispose of any debris on your lawn to minimize their habitats.
Many people think that fall means mowing the lawn less. Ticks love long grass. They climb to the top of the grass, hold their legs out, and wait for an unsuspecting animal or person to brush by. Keep your grass short to keep the ticks away this fall.
Don’t go into the woods or any tick-infested areas without being prepared! Wear light-colored clothing so you can easily see any ticks that may latch on. Tuck your pants into your socks so you have less exposed skin. Wear spray with 20-30% DEET on any exposed skin and Permethrin on your clothing.
Whenever you come back from a walk or a hike make sure to check yourself for any ticks. Make sure to check your children and your pets as well.
If you find a tick make sure to remove it immediately. Using a pair of tweezers is the recommended method of removal. Grip the head of the tick, as close to the skin as possible, and pull slowly. Don’t use a lit match as this may cause the tick to regurgitate and spread any disease it may have.
Getting a professional service to come out and treat your property is the best way to make sure no ticks turn your home into their home. Alliance Landscape has excellent tick control services customized for your property. Contact us now for more information or call (603) 622-1111.