When it comes to health risks presented by pests, ticks are on the top of the list, right next to mosquitoes, cockroaches, and mice. This is because the diseases spread by ticks can have lifelong health implications. In a recent article, we talked about the types of ticks we have in our North Carolina service area and some of the diseases they can carry. It is definitely worth a read if you don't know how dangerous ticks can be. Now let's get into some tick prevention tips because preventing these pests should be a priority for all of us.
Guarding against tick diseases begins with personal protection. When you or anyone who lives inside your home goes outside, it is important to take precautions. Here are few of the many ways tick bites can be prevented.
- Opportunistic ticks wait in grass or vegetation for a host to walk by. Avoiding tall grass and vegetation can help you avoid picking up ticks.
- Ticks don't fall from trees or jump on you. They cling to you as you walk by and crawl up your body. Tucking your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants will make it harder for ticks to find skin to attach to. And wearing bright-colored clothing will help you be able to detect these bugs when they do get on you.
- Mosquito repellent can work against ticks. Spraying some on your feet and legs to may help prevent ticks.
Since ticks seek animal hosts, our dogs and cats can become a threat to us. Not only do dogs and cats bring ticks in from the outside, they help ticks spread within a house by picking up ticks that are brought in by mice and rats. Here are some strategies for protecting your pets and yourself from tick-borne diseases.
- Veterinarian-prescribed tick products are your frontline defense.
- If you have a dog, consider creating a fenced in play area. This will reduce the chance of wildlife bringing ticks into the area your dog plays and prevent your dog from exploring areas around your home that harbor ticks.
- Do routine checks for ticks on ears and between toes.
Before ticks are brought into your home, they're brought into your yard and carried into shaded locations around your foundation perimeter. If they find the moisture they need, they can develop from egg to adult in these locations. Here are some tips for controlling moisture around the outside of your home.
- Check any spigots and hoses for leaks that could cause puddles to form near your home.
- Check gutters for obstructions that allow water to run down the side of your home.
- Trim trees to let the sunlight in. The sun is your number-one tool for keeping your foundation perimeter dry.
- Give your landscaping only the water it needs to thrive. Not only is overwatering bad for your plants, it inspires pest habitation.
It isn't likely that ticks will enter your home on their own. They will ride in on a host, so these tips are exclusion tips for mice and rats.
- Inspect your home for any holes and repair or fill those holes. A caulking gun is a great tool for a temporary patching of holes.
- Rodents prefer areas that have lots of harborage options. If you have stacked wood, construction materials, toys, or other objects near your foundation walls, move them away or stow them away. This will make your exterior walls less inviting to rodents.
- Rodents like overgrowth. It is important to keep your grass trimmed and vegetation neat. And avoid having tall grass near your foundation.
Professional Tick Control
While all of the tips given above will go a long way toward helping you keep ticks out of your home, it is always best to partner with a pest-management professional. An educated and experienced technician is trained in the latest pest-control strategies for ticks and other pest creatures. And your pest control technician will apply products to vulnerable areas that will make them unusable for developing ticks.
For more information or to establish service for your North Carolina home, give us a call today.