We have several tick species in Bradenton. Each comes with its own list of diseases, some of which are alarming to consider. While Florida has a low count of Lyme disease cases, Lyme is far from the only disease that can lead to serious health issues. In Florida, the most common tick borne diseases are ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), and spotted fever rickettsiosis. It is wise to always take precautions when it comes to ticks. That's why we've put together this practical guide to tick prevention.
How Ticks Get On You
When you leave your home and go out into nature, it is important to consider how ticks get onto you, and how they find a location to attach to on your skin. Ticks don't drop from trees or spring onto you as you pass by; they climb to the top of vegetation, such as turfgrass, and hold their front arms out. As you pass by, they cling to you and begin the long climb to get to your hair. If they can't get to your hair, they may attempt to get a blood meal from somewhere else, but this is not their first preference. These tips can help you prevent tick bites.
Tuck your pants into your socks or wear tall boots.
Wear bright clothing so you are able to see ticks as they scale the outside of your clothing.
Spray mosquito repellent onto your feet and legs to cause ticks to fall off.
Where Ticks Live
It can help to be careful about where you go for walks in nature. Some locations are more of a risk for ticks than others.
Shaded woodland areas.
Ticks And Pets
If you have a dog, you are at greater risk of tick borne diseases because ticks are an ideal host for ticks. When you return from going out into nature with your dog, be sure to do a check for ticks. You can do this by running your fingers through your dog's fur and feeling for bumps on the skin. You can also check the two common locations ticks prefer to attach on dogs: inside the ears and between the toes.
When it comes to tick prevention and pets, flea and tick collars are a good step to take. But they aren't going to give your pet 100 percent protection from ticks. And collars aren't a good choice for some pets or for some families. Consult your veterinarian on the topic of collars and other tick-prevention products.
Ticks In Your Yard
The place you're most likely to pick up a tick (or several ticks) is in your backyard. For this reason, tick prevention in your yard is essential. There are a few ways you can reduce ticks around your home.
Control Wildlife — Ticks don't come into your home on their own. They hitch rides on animals. Small animals are a particular threat because they tend to be a target for seed ticks, which are young ticks. As seed ticks grow out of their first stage of development, they drop off their first host and search for a new host. This new host is likely to be a larger animal, like a dog or cat. They can also get onto humans. Everything you do to prevent wildlife activity in your yard will help to reduce tick populations.
5 helpful tips for wildlife control:
Keep trash in covered receptacles.
Move bird feeders far from your exterior walls.
Use fencing to protect food sources.
Use fencing to protect locations of harborage.
Remove yard clutter.
Moisture — Ticks require high humidity in order to survive. When they fall off in your yard, they could die if your yard isn't moist enough for them.
6 helpful tips for reducing moisture:
- Clear your gutters.
- Remove containers that capture rainwater.
- Trim tree branches and palm tree fronds to allow sunlight into shaded areas.
- Trim bushes to allow better airflow in your landscaping.
- Water your plants in the morning.
- Address conditions that allow puddles to form.
If you catch ticks early and remove them, you can prevent illness from being transmitted. Frequent checks and proper removal should be a part of your tick-prevention strategy.
A yard that has routine treatments for ticks and mosquitoes can eliminate tick populations. If you're curious how this works, we'd be happy to discuss it with you. Reach out to us anytime. The pest control team here at Keller's Pest Control is always available to answer your questions and provide the assistance you need.