What Is Causing The Large Tick Populations In Massachusetts?
July 31, 2017
It can feel like every time you turn around there is another news story about tick-borne diseases. But, that is only because it's true. Your feelings may be right on this one. Diseases acquired from ticks can have lifelong health implications. That is definitely newsworthy material. And, with the rising tick populations here in Massachusetts--specifically the deer tick population--it is vital that we all understand this threat. Let's take a minute to look at the conditions that are allowing ticks to thrive, and explore a few ways to protect ourselves.
Tick Populations Rise
You would think that the cold winters in New England would be enough to kill all the bugs out
there but, sadly, bugs have ways to avoid the bitter cold. While it might seem like being buried under 2 feet of snow should be enough to kill anything, snow actually acts as a barrier to protect ticks that hide under leaf litter. And, since we've had some record snow days here in Mass, those ticks have been snug as a bug...in some snow.
Lots of snow has another effect. All of that snow has to melt. When it does, it creates moist conditions in the spring, which also helps ticks to thrive. And, when ticks thrive, we suffer the consequence.
What Do We Do About All These Ticks?
It can feel like a losing battle, but there are actually a few things we all can do to protect ourselves:
Pet owners are at greater risk for tick-borne diseases, so, if you have pets, make sure you have vet-prescribed products to protect them, and you. Keep them in a fenced area or on a leash. And be sure to bathe them regularly.
When you go out, wear insect repellent on your feet, ankles, and legs. This can deter ticks from climbing up.
Be aware that rodents and ticks go together. If you have rodents in your home, there is a good chance you're getting ticks as well. A single field mouse can have as many as 100 ticks in its fur.
Be aware that wildlife can bring ticks into your yard. Anything you do, to make your yard less attractive to them, or to deter them from entry, will reduce the tick population in your yard.
Be aware that birds can carry ticks. If you have bird feeders, you may be luring ticks in.
At American Pest Solutions, we offer a service that reduces both ticks and mosquitoes at the same time. While these two pests are considerably different, they hang out in some of the same areas and can be controlled with some of the same products. By putting them together, we feel it is a more comprehensive solution. Not only are we protecting our customers from ticks, but from the dangerous impact of mosquitoes as well. Reach out to us if you have any questions, or if you'd like to set up service for your Massachusetts home.
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