Ticks thrive in warm, moist conditions which is the reason they are so prolific from late spring through fall. While these months are considered “tick season”, most species can survive through the winter in temperatures over freezing, making them a year-round threat.
In order to reduce the risks involved with tick-borne illness, here the top 5 things you can do to protect yourself against ticks:
Create a chemical barrier between your home and the pests
There is a common belief that trap-setting is an effective way to deal with unwanted parasites; however that is the last thing you want to do. You are essentially inviting them closer with pleasant scents, while a chemical spray will both eliminate any existing tick and encourage other “visitors” to go elsewhere. If the chemical Acaricide is applied correctly, even once, it can kill up to 100% of the population.
Beware of wild and domesticated animals
While it may be nice to be in the company of a local deer during a barbeque or family outing, these are the large mammals that carry the highest risk of transporting one of the worst species of ticks. The deer tick is incredibly resilient and transmits Lyme disease up to 60% of the time. It takes up to 48 hours for their saliva to inject the toxins into the blood stream so it is good practice to checkboth youself and any furry friend you may take care of right after being outside.
Create a chemical barrier between yourself and the wild
If you are leaving your house and plan to spend time outside for any reason, but especially in a wooded area, cover any exposed skin first with N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide, or DEET for short. Any product that contains at least 20% concentration of this repellant will provide protection from ticks for hours. (For clothing, spray with permethrin which kills ticks and can endure through multiple washes)
Know the symptoms of Lyme disease
If you are one of the more than 300,000 unfortunate people infected with Lyme disease each year, the symptoms may present themselves similar to the common flu, often accompanied by a bulls-eye patterned rash. If this is the case, it is highly advised to visit a doctor who can prescribe the appropriate antibiotics as soon as possible. If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause neurological problems including, but not limited to, facial paralysis and excruciating pain in muscles, joints, and bones. The disease can be completely eradicated with medication.
Avoid areas where ticks are most common
Ticks can be anywhere, but especially in wooded or grassy areas. Pay particular attention to leaves and shrubs as these are the flora which ticks can attach to until meeting with a host. Frost will not always kill all species of ticks, so continue to be aware of where you walk in the cooler months following the Fall.
If you need effective tick control in NJ, let us know and we’ll let you know your best course of action.