While it is necessary to take preventive measures against the creatures year-round, be extra vigilant in warmer months with your tick prevention. Protect your people, pets and your yard!
- Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
- Walk in the center of trails.
- Tuck your pants into your boots.
- Tape the seams where any clothing ends at your body.
- Wear a hat.
- Use repellents that contain 20 to 30% DEET on exposed skin and clothing for protection that lasts up to several hours.
- Use products that contain Permethrin on clothing. Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents. Pre-treated clothing is also available and may be protective longer.
Find and Remove them from Your Body
- Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors.
- Conduct a full-body check on all parts of your body. Parents should check their children under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.
- Examine gear and pets. They can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and day packs.
- Tumbling clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour will kill the critters.
- The best way to remove them is to use tweezers and pull straight out. Call your doctor for more information on removing or treatment. It is better to be safe than sorry!
Prevent Ticks on Animals
- Deterent collars, sprays, shampoos, or “top spot” medications should be used regularly to protect your animals. There are also non chemical pet treatment sprays and “top spot” preventatives. Sentry Natural Defense available online or at some Agway stores is one option.
Treat Your Yard
- Keep grass mowed.
- Create a barrier strip (3’ or wider) between your lawn and wooded areas by removing leaf litter, brush and weeds at the edge of the lawn and cover with wood chips, mulch, gravel or rock.
- Move children’s swing sets and sand boxes away from the woodland edge and place them on a wood chip or mulch type foundation.
- Trim tree branches and shrubs around the lawn edge to let in more sunlight. Bright, sunny areas are less likely to harbor ticks.
- Restrict the use of groundcover, such as pachysandra in areas frequented by family and roaming pets.
- Remove brush and leaves around stonewalls and wood piles.
- Move firewood piles and bird feeders away from the house (see section on small mammals and birds).
- Discourage rodent and deer activity.
- Use plantings that do not attract deer or exclude deer through various types of fencing.
- Adopt hardscape and xeriscape landscaping techniques with gravel pathways and mulches.
- Treat your yard with a good commercial spray. Professional application is recommended.