Now that summer has wound down and temperatures have dropped, you can spend time in the Westchester County’s beautiful outdoors without worrying about ticks, right? Wrong! Today we’re going to discuss ticks and fall!
Fall is actually a very active time of year for ticks. The cooler weather doesn’t really affect their activity level while the cooler weather and attractive fall scenery has more people than ever spending time outside. With a few simple precautions, however, you can get out to enjoy everything fall has to offer without the risk of tick bites and Lyme Disease.
Avoiding ticks in the fall starts with knowing where they are most likely to lurk. Ticks hang out on low-lying plants, waiting for a potential host to brush past them so they can hitch a ride and grab a free meal. Any time you are hiking, raking leaves, playing in a leaf pile, or getting a little fall yard clean up done, you’re at risk for a tick bite. Keeping your yard neat and free of overgrown grass and weeds will cut back on potential places for ticks to lie in wait for a host.
When you go out for a hike, stick to well maintained trails and avoid trampling through the off-trail underbrush. Ticks are less likely to be found on clear trails but are sure to be waiting in the detritus, young trees, and other vegetation that covers the forest floor.
Whether you are in the yard or out in the woods, dressing properly and wearing insect repellent will help you avoid ticks. Wear light colored pants and socks as well as long sleeves. Tuck your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants to help keep ticks away from your skin. While this isn’t the coolest look in town, it really helps to deter even the tiniest ticks. An insect repellent containing DEET is the most effective way to ward off ticks and other insect pests. Make sure to read the label and follow instructions for how often to reapply the repellent. If using DEET on children, be sure to consult a medical professional and help the child wash the repellent off at the end of the day.
Don’t forget to keep up with your pet’s flea and tick preventive throughout the fall and winter. Ticks can be active all year, as long there isn’t snow on the ground. Your dog or cat can easily carry ticks into the house. Using a flea and tick preventive year round protects your pet’s health and the health of you and your family.
Last, but not least, check yourself and your children carefully for ticks after spending time outdoors. Some species of ticks are extremely small and difficult to see, so be sure to check thoroughly and often for ticks. They often prefer hidden areas such as between the toes, behind the knees, and in the armpits. Don’t forget to check your pets and any clothing or packs that may have also been exposed to ticks!
The health risks from ticks are a year round concern. Westchester Tree Life can help by treating your yard for ticks. Call us today for a consultation and to learn about our safe, effective tick control program.