Now that summer has ended, many might think they no longer have to worry about pesky deer ticks. However, ticks are not just a seasonal concern; they can strike during any season. They’re especially bothersome during the cooler months, as they seek warmth and shelter underneath leaves and other debris. When raking one’s lawn or moving firewood, these ticks can latch onto your skin and clothing, sneakily migrating to an inconspicuous spot on your body and biting you. With their population flourishing in the fall, let’s discuss the keys to prepare for deer ticks.
Who is at Risk of Deer Tick Bites?
We’re all familiar with the well-known tick-borne illness, Lyme disease. According to the University of Rhode Island, 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported annually, with thousands more that go undiagnosed. It’s a far more common occurrence in pets, like cats and dogs, as ticks can hide beneath their fur and go unnoticed for a long time. The deer tick is especially prominent in New England during fall and can transmit other diseases, including babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis. Needless to say, not only are they a nuisance to all, but they can be dangerous, too.
How to Prepare for Deer Ticks
Fortunately, there are ways of controlling the tick population on your landscape. Keeping in mind their preferred habitat and behavior, here are some effective ways to prepare for deer ticks:
- Rake Your Leaves: Since ticks like to hide beneath leaves, clearing your lawn takes away their shelter and warmth. Just be sure to dispose of the leaves far beyond the edge of your landscape,
- Tick Spray: There are pet-friendly and toxic brands of tick repellent. However, this option is great for getting rid of large tick infestations.
- Deer-Resistant Plants: Deer are large contributors to the tick population in an area, as they are the favorite host of deer ticks. Keeping deer from your property using plants with strong odors that are outside their diet – such as hibiscus, geraniums, and marigolds – can keep them away.
Another option includes placing a fence or encapsulating hardscape around your yard to keep out deer.
Taking the time to prepare for deer ticks can give you peace of mind while you go out and tidy up your property this fall. If you live in New England, you may just wish to avoid the yard work altogether, given the large tick population. At Dolan Landscaping, we can take care of your lawn maintenance or apply tick and insect control to better protect you and your family. If you need our assistance warding off deer ticks this season, contact us today.