Tick Prevention and Treatment

The early spring brings the re-awakening of ticks. The first to arise are the deer ticks which are carriers of Lyme Disaease. As soon as they awake they need a blood meal. Ticks are unable to hop or fly so they have only two methods to find a host. One is to wait and hope for a mammal to enter the leaf litter where they overwinter and quickly climb up a leg, the other is to climb up a bush or small tree and drop onto a passing mammal. Ticks have been found as high up as Ten feet. The spring tick treatment should consist of spraying bushes and trees along the edge of the lawn where it abuts the woods. The application should focus on above ground areas up to ten feet. Mowed lawns ajoining mowed lawns do not require tick treatments. The fact that ticks overwinter in leaf litter is a good reason to rake all leaves in the fall. Two treatments, spring and fall, will eliminate and prevent ticks from a property.

The CDC, Centers for Disease Control, at cdc.gov/Features/StopTicks has some great info including •Use a repellent with DEET on skin. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding the hands, eyes, and mouth. For detailed information about using DEET on children, see recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Also upon returning from a possible ticky area, Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, which even includes your back yard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:

  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around the hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist
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