common in the United States and are becoming a growing problem.
There are several different species of these eight legged creatures
that can potentially spread several kinds of diseases including
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease. The CDC has
suggested that the number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease
each year is about 30,000.*
Prevention tips for you!
The EPA has created suggestions for best practices to help
prevent ticks from selecting you as their next host.
- Avoid areas where you can come in contact with
ticks. This would be thickly wooded or bushy areas with
high grass. Stay in the center of trails when you hike.
- Use insect repellent that is designed to repel
ticks. DEET is commonly found in insect repellents and can
- Examine your body when you come back inside for
ticks. They like warm, humid climates so be sure to check
under your arms, behind ears, in hair, inside belly button, behind
knees, in between legs, and around the waist. Parents should check
their children as well.
- Take a shower within two hours of coming
indoors. Using a washcloth can help scrub off any ticks
that may be crawling on you.
- Examine your gear for ticks. They can hitch a
ride home on clothes, backpacks and other materials until they can
find a host.
- Put clothing in the dryer on high heat. This
will kill any ticks on your clothing that have not attached
themselves to you.
Protect your pets
Ticks like to live on our furry friends as well.
Dogs are very attractive to ticks and they can be affected by
tickborne diseases from their bites too. A tick bite on your dog
can take up to 21 days to appear, so watch for behavior and
appetite changes that may be a sign that your dog has been bitten.
Ticks can be transferred from your dog to you so it is a good idea
to take prevention steps for him as well:
- Check for ticks daily on your pets. If your
pet spends time outdoors, this is very important.
- Remove ticks from your pets as soon as you find
- Talk to your veterinarian. They will know what
tickborne diseases are in the area and can perform a tick check
during periodic exams. Ask about tick prevention products designed
for your pet.
Prevent ticks in your yard
Ticks have a preference for thick grasses, leaf litter and
wooded areas so keeping your yard manicured with periodic pest
control can help keep ticks away.
- Keep up yard work. Mow the lawn and dispose of
fallen leaves frequently.
- Apply pest control to your yard. You should be
able to find pest control product designed to kill ticks in your
local garden center; these are called acaricides. Be sure to read
and follow all directions.
- Remove thick brush. Clear tall grass and thick
brush around the perimeter of the house and the edge of the
- Create a barrier. In between your lawn and
wooded areas, create a barrier of about 3 feet with gravel to help
restrict ticks from moving from the wilderness to your backyard.
Keep recreational areas, such as decks and
playgrounds, away from the yard edges and trees. Fencing the yard
will help keep out wild animals that may be carrying ticks.
- Dispose of trash. Remove any old furniture,
mattresses or trash that would give ticks a place to hide.
- Store fire wood. Wood should be stacked neatly
in a dry area, away from the house.