Along with the sun and warm weather, summer has also brought the ticks. While ticks are a nuisance every summer, many are claiming that tick populations seem to be on the rise compared to last summer. Why is this? Some think it could be due to a milder winter across most of the country. Others suggest that these humidity-loving insects are extra active this summer because of the high humidity. Or is it a combination of the two? Either way, tick populations seem to be on the rise and with that an increase in Lyme disease is almost inevitable. So, how can we be proactive to avoid these pests while at the same time enjoy the season of summer?
Reduce Tick Exposure and Still Enjoy Your Summer!
In Your Yard…
- Keep the grass cut short.
- Put a three-foot perimeter of wood chips or gravel between your yard and any tall grasses or wooded areas. Ticks don’t like crossing these areas as they are hot and dry.
- Consider getting backyard chickens. They’ll eat those ticks right up!
- Remove debris (such as leaves). Ticks like to hide in these areas.
- Spend time in the sunny area of your yard. Ticks prefer the shade.
- If possible, keep deer, mice, birds, etc. out of your yard. These animals can carry ticks on their bodies and bring them into your yard.
- Grow plants with strong odors, such as lavender or lemon balm. These odors tend to repel ticks.
On The Trail…
- Wear light-colored clothes so ticks are more visible.
- Wear long clothes, if possible. Tuck your pant legs into your socks and the bottom of your shirt into the waist of your pants.
- Walk in the center of the trail.
- Upon returning, shower and do a thorough tick check.
- Upon returning, wash clothes and dry them on high heat. If the wash does not kill any lingering ticks, but the high heat dryer will!