Ticks & Seasonal Trends
June 23, 2016
Ticks can invade your home by hitching rides on pets, clothing, or skin. It’s a good idea, therefore, to closely examine your own clothing and skin before returning indoors, especially if you’ve recently traversed an area with excessive foliage or overgrown plant life. Ticks lock on to their hosts by detecting their breath and body odor or by tracking their body heat, moisture, or vibrations.
While ticks can neither jump nor fly, they exhibit a behavior known as questing, which involves waiting on the ends of leaves or grass with their first pair of legs outstretched. If a host happens by and brushes past the tick’s questing location, the tick will quickly detach from its position and climb onto the host. Once on the surface of their new host, some tick species will attach in the first location they can find, while other species will wander around, looking for the thinnest piece of skin available, such as the ear or scalp.
Once the pest finds a suitable feeding spot, it will cut into the skin of its host and begin to feed on its blood. The main human concern with ticks is their ability to spread a variety of serious diseases including Lyme disease, Colorado tick fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tick-borne encephalitis, just to name a few.
Keeping these pests out of your yard as much as possible is imperative - especially during the summer months, when both ticks and families engage in the most outdoor activity. They thrive in warm, moist weather, meaning that they are already beginning to prove problematic in some parts of the country.
One of the most effective and simplest measures that you can take to prevent ticks from invading your yard is to simply cut your grass. Ticks prefer overgrown foliage, and ensuring good lawn maintenance by cutting your grass once every two weeks or so will significantly decrease the chances that ticks will find your property hospitable.
Another good measure to take is to keep wildlife out of your yard as much as possible. As mentioned above, ticks are known to hitch rides on all manner of larger mammals and other vermin, meaning that the exclusion of these animals will go a long way towards ensuring your lawn is tick-free. Depending on where you live, rabbits and deer are likely vectors for ticks, so maintaining fences of the appropriate size for the animals in question ought to do the trick.
Ticks have also been known to harbor in yard debris like fallen sticks, logs, and leaves. After the winter winds and storms die down, it’s a good idea to remove this detritus as soon as possible, in order to eliminate possible hiding places. While you’re at it, be sure to get rid of any areas with standing water, like flowerpots or backed-up drains, as these areas are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
If ticks or other pests have made unsightly appearances around your home or business, call Cantu Pest & Termite and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced pest control experts.