During a regular vet visit, our beloved yellow lab Mojo was diagnosed with Lyme disease. We were surprised and heartbroken. We regularly used Frontline or Advantix, had Mojo groomed, did tick checks and even had him immunized. At home, we follow appropriate cultural practices and even treat our property for tick infestation. But we also enjoy nature walks in our own neighborhood along rural roads and around cranberry bogs – both havens for tick activity. Fortunately, we caught the disease before he was symptomatic but the reality is as “pet parents” we feel responsible. By raising your tick IQ, taking appropriate precautions and preventative measures you can diminish exposure to Lyme and other tick borne illnesses.
Deer and dog ticks over winter and are currently very active. People and pets are susceptible to the diseases some of which can mean dire consequences. The best way to deal with ticks is by preventing them from biting. Ticks are often hitchhikers- brought to your yard by other animals that travel through leaf litter in wooded areas. While most people associate deer ticks, with the presence of deer, more often rabbits, squirrels, mice and other animals that travel low to the ground are the real culprits. As a matter of fact, scientists are predicting a boom in Lyme cases in 2012 and are basing this, believe it or not, on the lack of acorns in 2011 and the affect on the white footed mouse population. There are steps you can take to make sure you are safe in your yard and home from tick bites.
1. Mow: Ticks thrive in tall grass where they can find hosts to latch onto. By keeping your grass short, you are creating an inhospitable environment. Be sure to weed whack tall grass around foundations, trees, fences and structures. These are great runways and hiding spots for small animals that carry ticks.
2. Clean Up Your Act: Clean up debris on the lawn and the perimeter of your property. That dumping spot for grass clippings and leaves is a haven for ticks. Keep things neat and tidy with a separate area for composting.
3. Tick Checks: Do a tick check once a day. Many people are under the impression that topical products that they apply on pets monthly will prevent ticks altogether. This is not true and often, a tick hitches a ride on a person or pet and is then roaming free in your home.
4. Treatments: The Greenskeeper Lawn, Tree & Shrub Service has new, animal friendly products to deter, tick carrying animals from your property. These products, used in conjunction with our tick spray service will significantly lessen the likelihood of ticks on your property.