Spring has arrived and that means it is time to get outdoors. With spring cleaning and landscape endeavors underway for many West Chester, Newtown Square and Mainline, PA, residents, beware of ticks. The truth is you don’t have to be walking in the woods to be bitten by a tick. You can be bitten right in your own backyard!
This causes concern for those that enjoy the outdoors because ticks can infect us with a host of vector-borne illnesses. These include Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, and Lyme Disease. Last year, Pennsylvania led the nation with the greatest reported number of Lyme Disease cases. According to the CDC, preliminary numbers show there were 12,092 reported cases of the tick-borne disease in Pennsylvania through Dec. 24. This number was triple the amount of the runner-up, New York, which had 4,002 cases, followed by New Jersey with 3,850.
To date, we have already begun to receive reports of tick sightings in our service area. We encourage residents to remain vigilant and proactive about tick control practices on their properties. Ticks like damp, shady, brushy, leafy areas, where they can wait for a person or an animal (like a deer or a mouse) to come by. The tick waits for direct contact with a passing person or animal. The simple act of sprucing up your landscape, adding mulch, trimming shrubbery or gardening acts as the perfect catalyst for direct contact with ticks.
If your yard contains shrubs and shaded areas or you have rotting organic debris, high grass, wood piles, or rock walls, your yard may be attractive to ticks. These elements also make your yard more attractive to animals that carry ticks and help perpetuate the likelihood of vector-borne illness, like deer and mice. Reduce the number of ticks around your home by following these steps:
- CLEAR OUT – Reduce your tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic. Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don’t position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas.
- CLEAN – Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep your lawn short.
- CHOOSE PLANTS – Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard. Learn which plants deter deer by visiting HGTV’s list of 24 deer-resistant plants. Check with your local nursery to determine the best choices for your area.
- CHECK HIDING PLACES – Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places.
- CARE FOR FAMILY PETS – Family pets can suffer from tick-borne disease and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your veterinarian about using tick collars and sprays. As with all pest control products, be sure to follow directions carefully.
- CALL THE PROS – At Mosquito Squad of Chester & Delaware Counties, our professional tick control utilizes both barrier sprays that will eliminate adult ticks on contact as well as tick tubes. Strategically placed, tick tubes prompt field mice to incorporate tick-killing material in their bedding, effectively eliminating hundreds of tick nymphs found in each mouse nest.
Contact Mosquito Squad of Chester and Delaware Counties at (610) 674-0799 for more information about our tick control and prevention service.