By now, you're probably aware that ticks are a threat. But you might not know the extent of the threat. Maine doesn't just appear in the top 12 states most impacted by Lyme disease. It holds the number one position. Do you know where the state of Connecticut (the state where Lyme got its name) sits on the list? Number 8! We have almost twice as many reported incidences of Lyme disease per 100,000 residents. That is why we've put together this tick-protection handbook. Here's everything you need to know to protect yourself from ticks in Maine.
Quick Tick Facts
The tick that is considered to be the greatest threat for the transmission of Lyme disease is the blacklegged tick, also known as the deer tick.
Blacklegged ticks can be a threat all year long, even in the dead of winter. This is because they live on warm-blooded animals that often get into our nice warm homes in the fall.
Mice and rats commonly bring ticks into homes. If you don't have a dog or a cat, you can still get ticks.
Ticks can be carried into your yard and into your home by birds. This is especially true of blacklegged ticks.
Lyme disease is only one of many dangerous tick-borne diseases. We have babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, anaplasmosis, and more. All of these illnesses are worth looking into. You should be aware of the symptoms. If you have kids, they should be made aware also.
1. Personal Prevention
Avoid walking in tall grass and vegetation. Ticks climb up vegetation and cling to animals that pass by. They'll also cling to your legs or pants.
Be aware that wooded areas are more likely to have ticks. They can crawl right up onto your foot and scale your leg without you knowing it.
When you go outside, consider putting mosquito repellent on your feet and legs. Ticks don't fall onto you and get in your hair. They have to crawl up your body to get to your hair. They may also attach to you as you walk through brush. Mosquito repellent can make them detach and fall off.
Wearing bright colors can help you see ticks as they crawl up.
Do checks for ticks when you come in from the outside. Some diseases, like Lyme, can take as long as 48 hours to transmit from an attached tick. Removing ticks early can prevent disease
2. Pet Protection
Make sure your pet has a flea and tick collar.
Do routine tick checks. Inspect the ears and between the toes. These are preferred locations for ticks to attach. Run your fingers through your pet's hair and feeling for bumps.
Consider applying a tick or mosquito repellent to your pet(s) when you let them outside.
Create a fenced-in area for your dog(s). This reduces wildlife traffic and prevents your dog(s) from exploring your landscaping where questing ticks are waiting to get onto them.
3. Yard Protection
Everything you do to control wildlife activity in your yard will help to reduce ticks. If you're noticing that you're getting ticks in your yard, try implementing the following wildlife management strategies.
Make sure your exterior trash is in covered receptacles that can't be knocked over.
Make sure food sources are surrounded by fencing.
Fence in harborage locations, such as the void under your deck, porch, patio, or stairs.
Remove unnecessary objects from your backyard. Rodents use these as hiding places.
Keep your lawn trimmed and your landscaping neat. Rodents prefer overgrowth.
Move bird feeders to at least 20 feet from your exterior walls. Rodents, especially mice, love seeds. This will prevent them from coming close and dropping ticks near your home.
4. Professional Tick Reduction
Routine treatments by a pest management professional can have a big impact on tick populations around your home. The treatments we apply will also work to reduce mosquitoes. That's a win-win in our book!
If you have questions about tick and mosquito reduction, drop us a line. We would be happy to help you find the answers you're looking for. If you're ready to invest in tick and mosquito reduction for your Southern Maine home, we're happy to help you with that too.