Anyone spending time outdoors should first plan on enjoying their experience, and second, they should take sensible precautions to avoid tick exposures. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of antibiotics!
Larval and nymphal deer ticks often hide in shady, moist ground litter, but adults can often be found above the ground clinging to tall grass, brush, trees and shrubs. Ticks also live in lawns and gardens, especially at the edges of woodlands, on fallen trees and around old stone walls. No natural, vegetated area can be considered completely free of infected ticks.
Ticks have been known to drop from a overhanging branch or tree limb. There are many potential hosts, which include all wild birds and mammals, domestic animals, and humans. Once a tick comes in contact with a human it generally climbs upward until it reaches a suitable site, often the back of the knee, groin, navel, armpit, ears, head or neck. It then begins the process of inserting its mouthparts into the skin until it reaches the blood supply.
The best action to take is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation as much as possible. However, if you garden, hike, camp, hunt, work outdoors or otherwise spend time in woods, brush or overgrown fields, you should use a combination of precautions faithfully to reduce your chances of getting Lyme or other tick borne diseases.
When taking the above precautions, consider this:
Any contact with vegetation, even playing in the yard, can result in exposure to ticks, so careful daily self-inspection is necessary whenever you are involved in outdoor activities. Remember ticks can be active when there is an 80% snow covering on the ground. Frequent tick checks should be followed by a detailed tick check each night before going to bed.
To remove a tick, follow these steps:
In highly endemic areas it is recommended to treat a tick bite to prevent developing Lyme or other tick borne diseases. New Jersey has some of the highest rates of infected ticks in the United States. Certainly, if a rash or other symptoms develop, see a physician immediately. Remember less than 10% of children get a Lyme rash and less than 50% of reported cases indicate a rash was noted.
Those who enjoy spending time in their yards can reduce the tick population around the home by:
* We do not have ties to Avon or Repel Permanone products and do not receive any financial or other incentives for promoting their products. We simply recommend them because we have found they are very helpful.
CREATING A "SAFE ZONE"
Anything you can do to make your property less hospitable to deer, mice and birds will have a impact on the tick population. If you have a large yard, wooded area or high-use area, consider creating a “safe zone” to help reduce your exposure. You cannot keep all ticks out of the “safe zone”, but you can reduce the numbers and chance of accidental exposure substantially.
To create a "safe zone" Place a layer of wood chips at least 3 feet wide and 1-3 feet deep between your yard and the woods edge. Ticks are attracted to the wood chips because of the shade and moisture provided. Treat the chips regularly (several times a year) with Sevin or Permanone to kill any ticks living in or trying to cross the “safe zone” barrier. Keep children and pets out of the treated wood chips.
Keep all grass in your “safe zone” cut SHORT to discourage ticks from taking up residence there. Ticks do not like hot dry areas. Be sure not to provide an inviting habitat for ticks by using wood chips under picnic tables or playground equipment where people often gather.
To discourage deer and other wildlife from living in or wandering through your “safe zone” spray their favorite 'edibles' with a garlic, soap or hot pepper spray. Acorns and berries attract mice and other wildlife. Removing them and other wildlife food sources may help reduce the number of ticks.
Keep bird feeders away from the house and your “safe zone” to discourage mice (a favorite host of ticks) from gathering or nesting in or near your home. Set traps to remove mice from inside your house and empty the traps promptly.
To treat your yard or other outdoor areas to reduce ticks, you can purchase a product called Sevin (sold as a concentrated liquid or dust) and apply it to and around your high use areas. Sevin, sold as a garden product for use on fruits and vegetables, has one of the least offensive chemical odors, is fairly inexpensive considering the coverage and is recommended and effective for killing ticks. It can also be applied to your pets outdoor bedding areas to kill ticks and fleas. Carefully read and follow all directions on the label and remember to treat high-use areas and your wood chip border several times a year.
Save the cardboard inserts from toilet paper and paper towels. Treat a handful of cotton balls with Permanone (spray them outside on newspaper or on a protective covering), allow to dry and place the cotton balls loosely inside the cardboard tubes (or inside short pieces of PVC pipe). Place the tubes or pipes along the border of your property. Hopefully, mice will carry the cotton balls to their nest, exposing ticks to the Permanone treatment.
Inside Home- Ticks can live for over six months without a blood meal. An adult female can produce 2,000–5,000 off-spring. Homes may have to be treated for tick infestation if a female tick deposits her eggs indoors and they hatch. You should also be sure to check for ticks before getting into your vehicle in order to prevent similar problems.
Personal Protection- What Repellents Work Best?
Disclaimer- No prevention method is 100% effective. Please proceed as if it is possible to be bitten in spite of using one or more methods. If you find an attached tick, please visit: