The prevalence of ticks in on the rise this year, putting many people on high alert. Ticks are best known for being spreaders of Lyme disease. These tiny pests can be hard to detect making regular checks even more important. Families can help keep themselves and their yards safer from ticks by taking precautionary measures. While there is no way to guarantee there won’t be a few ticks lurking around, you can take steps to deter them from your home.
Clean up brush and keep grass and bushes trimmed. Ticks like dark, damp areas and can often be found in tall grasses or underbrush. Mow your lawn regularly to keep grass shorter and clear away any fallen leaves or debris – this includes that which accumulates in and around bushes.
Create a barrier. Ticks are less likely to cross a barrier of mulch or gravel, so consider using these materials to surround decks or play areas. Make sure that sandboxes have plenty of sun exposure to keep the sand dry and deter ticks.
Move play and patio sets away from the woods. While it can be nice to have the shade of the trees while outside, wooded areas are prime places for ticks. Shift playsets a few feet further from the woods to create a buffer zone.
Check your pets. Before bringing your dog or cat inside, do a thorough check for ticks, especially if they have been roaming in wooded areas or brush. Ticks can get caught up in their fur and make their way into your home. There are also tick repellants and collars you can get for pets to keep them safer.
Check your family. After spending time outdoors, check everyone for ticks and throw your clothes in a hot dryer for about 10 minutes to kill any ticks that may have hitched a ride. A lint roller can be a great way to quickly remove ticks that have not attached themselves.
Protect yourselves. Do your research and find a tick repellant that you feel comfortable with. There are some products that contain DEET and other with more natural ingredients. Wearing light colored clothing and covering up with light-weight long pants and long sleeves can also add protection and make it easier to see if a tick has attached to your clothing.
Consider pest control. If you’ve found ticks in your yard, contact a pest control company about treating the area to reduce risk. They can add an extra layer of protection beyond the steps you’ve already taken to deter ticks from your yard.
The HOA can take similar steps in common areas to reduce risk of ticks and partner with their property manager and landscaping company to be proactive. Enjoy time spent outdoors enjoying nature and the beautiful weather while keeping everyone safer from ticks.