How To Prevent Deer Tick Diseases
Enjoy your yard all year without inviting deer tick diseases. Just follow some easy prevention strategies to keep little ticks from causing big illnesses.
Below are tips for identifying, managing, and deterring deer ticks. There is a stockpile of measures available to you!
About Deer Tick Diseases
Deer ticks are smaller than dog ticks, and cannot fly, hop, jump, or swim. They favor deer and rodents as their hosts.
Members of the Arachnid family, deer ticks can transmit tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Ehrlichiosis, among others. The most common is Lyme disease, an infection transmitted through the bite of an infected black-legged tick (aka deer tick).
Where Ticks Dwell
Ticks, found in all 48 contiguous states, are not exclusively woods dwellers. They will take up residence in other areas year-round. These include tall brush and grass, under plants and leaves, around stone walls, and where woods meet fields/lawns.
Key Prevention Strategies
Deer tick diseases can be prevented without harm to people, plants, or animals. It is important to follow a multi-pronged approach:
Light-colored clothing, long sleeve shirts, long pants with legs tucked into socks, and closed-toed shoes are all recommended when gardening. Personal repellents add another layer of protection. Products with DEET will repel but not kill ticks. Products that contain Permethrin will kill ticks, but should only be applied to clothing, and never on oneself. Always follow repellent instructions, as some should not be applied to the skin, but only to outer layers of clothing.
Keep Deer Away
Deer ticks hitch rides on deer, who unknowingly transport the ticks around your yard. This is why it is key to deter deer. Here are some methods:
*Create obstacles in your yard such as outdoor furniture and garden art, to make it difficult for deer to find your garden goodies.
*Plant some varieties that deer typically don’t like. This list of landscape plants rated by resistance to damage prepared by Rutgers University is a handy guide.
*Make your plantings unappealing to deer through smell and taste aversion, with a safe, effective repellent such as Bobbex Deer Repellent. In an independent study conducted by the State of Connecticut Department of Forestry and Horticulture, Bobbex was determined to be the best deer repellent tested, ranking higher than any other brand. Eco-friendly Bobbex sprays right on plants, dries clear in a few hours, will not wash off in the rain, and can be applied all year.
Monitor Pets For Ticks
Pets that roam the yard may pick up ticks and bring them into the house. Be sure to thoroughly check your animals before they go inside.
Practice Good Landscape Hygiene
Reduce the tick habitat, which will decrease the tick population. Keep plantings trimmed and free of debris. Eliminate woodpiles and other potential hideouts for rodents and ticks. Keep the lawn mowed, as tall grass is a tick magnet. Create a buffer zone between woods and the yard with mulch.
Deer Tick Detection
It is always advisable to do a head to toe inspection after spending time around your yard. And be sure to check clothing before putting it in the wash.
If you do find a tick, don’t touch it with your hands. Use sterile tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. The CDC provides helpful tips on how to remove a tick and other information.
Protect and Prevent Proactively
Landscapes offer a retreat from our busy lives – a chance to enjoy nature’s gifts each season. Deer and the ticks they transport to your garden are not invited to nature’s party. Uninvite them by following the strategies outlined in this blog. Be proactive, protect, and prevent.