- Ticks -
Intro to ticks
Biology and behavior
Prevention and treatment
Currently there are no protective vaccines for humans for the tick-borne diseases discussed above; consequently avoiding tick bites is the best disease-prevention strategy. You can take several to reduce your chances of being bitten by a tick.
- Avoid known or suspected areas of tick infestation, especially during tick season.
- Walk on cleared trails and avoid brushing up against vegetation and tall grass.
- Avoid game trails.
- Wear proper clothing while in tick habitat. Clothing should be light in color to allow you to spot crawling ticks more easily.
- Wear closed-toed shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into the socks and the shirt into the pants in order to slow crawling ticks.
When using a pesticide treatment outdoors, special attention should be paid to lawns, shrubbery and crawl spaces under buildings of any size. Ticks like to stay in shady areas, out of direct sunlight. These areas should be thoroughly treated with a low toxicity residual insecticide to kill ticks and to prevent infestations of fleas, ticks, ants and other pests. Apply a low toxicity residual insecticide outdoors with a hose-end sprayer only — using a pump sprayer will not work! Treat all tick habitats, spraying shrubbery up to a height of 2 to 3 feet. If at all possible, mow grass and weeds on any vacant lot frequented by you, your pets and any other creature (rats, mice, raccoons, birds, reptiles) that can come into contact with your family. These areas should also be treated with a low toxicity residual insecticide. Because of a tick’s ability to detect and avoid pesticides, you must begin your pesticide application at the exterior of your home (or other structures), then work out and away from the house. This will help prevent “flushing” or “running” ticks up and into your home from outdoors. Keep pets and children off of any treated surfaces until dry.