Keeping Ticks Out of Your Buffalo Property

Outdoor activities are what make spring and summer so enjoyable in Buffalo. While you and your family spend quality time in the backyard, ticks may also be hanging around to catch their next meal. Half the time you won't even notice a tick is on you until it's already feeding on you -- which is a dangerous situation. Ticks are known to transfer many diseases to humans and animals including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Tick Paralysis. The potential transmission of Lyme disease is the primary reason why tick prevention should be at the front of every homeowner's mind. Here is how you can spot, prevent and keep ticks out of your home this season: 

How to Identify Ticks

If you didn't know, ticks are actually very small arachnids making them relatives of spiders! While this information may be creepy to most, it's important information to remember when trying to identify a bug. Like other arachnids, ticks have four legs and large antennae. 

Ticks have mandibles that you can see from above; these mouthparts enter the skin of the host to feed. Deer ticks are known to transmit Lyme disease and are generally an orange-brown color and oval-shaped. Ticks are hard to spot because they are often as small as a sesame seed unless they are engorged. An engorged tick has recently fed on blood and will look much larger. Without being interrupted ticks can feed on a host for up to 10 days -- that's going to be one engorged arachnid!

Preventing Ticks 

Now that you can what to look out for, it's time to be proactive! If you are looking to reduce the chance of ticks making their way onto your property, here are a few things you can do:

  • Rake and remove leaf litter
  • Cut tall grass and trim brush around the home and edge of the lawn
  • Place a 3-ft wide barrier of gravel between the lawn and any wooded areas nearby
  • Mow your lawn frequently 
  • Build fences to keep out wildlife who may be carrying ticks
  • Keep the yard clean of old furniture or unused materials

Taking precautions with your yard is a great step, but what about when you want to go somewhere else outdoors? Ticks live in grassy or wooded areas. If you find yourself on an outdoor adventure -- awesome -- but keep these tips in mind:

  • Treat clothing with products containing 0.5% permethrin; these can be used on boots, clothing or gear to deter pests
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET
  • Avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Walk in the center of hiking trails to avoid brush

Remember to check your clothing for ticks when you come inside! It's a good idea to shower right after being outdoors to reduce your risk of being bitten by a tick that may not be attached yet. Places you'll want to check for ticks include: under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button (yikes), back of the knees, in and around the hair, between the legs and around the waist. 

If you find a tick attached to your skin, don't panic, just remove it as soon as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a step-by-step removal process here

Keeping Ticks Out for Good

Ehrlich offers season-long tick control that creates a repellent barrier against ticks. An Ehrlich technician will perform a barrier treatment focusing on the places ticks are found most, such as perimeter vegetation, overgrown grassy areas, footpaths and any parts of the yard that border a forest.

Thinking of protecting your home from the threat of ticks? Contact us today for a free quote on keeping your yard pest-free all year long

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