Ticks are a given in the South Jersey area. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, then you may have had this moment happen to you: You thought everything was going smoothly, but then you find a tick crawling on one of your kids, your pet, or maybe even the bedroom floor.
How did that happen? Call the pest control company now!
Ticks Can Live and Breed in Your South Jersey Backyard
And those nasty little critters can thrive in lots of other outdoor spaces, like:
- The woods
- Where your lawn meets the woods
- In tall grass, weeds & brush
- Under leaves
- In or near stone walls or wood piles
- Around bird feeders and outdoor pet areas
- Shady areas
If you plan to spend time outdoors, remember that you’ll be sharing your living space with ticks (and all those other stinging pests), along with all the health risks associated with them, too.
What Health Risks Do Ticks Pose in South Jersey?
Ticks in South Jersey pose health risks such as:
- Lyme Disease – when not diagnosed & treated early, Lyme Disease can lead to infections affecting your cardiac and central nervous systems.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – can be severe or even fatal if not treated within the first few days after symptoms appear (which can include – fever, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, and muscle pain. A rash may also develop, but is often absent in the first few days, and in some patients, doesn’t develop at all.
- Human Ehrlichiosis – severity can range from minor (or asymptomatic) to life-threatening) and symptoms may include – fever, headache, fatigue & muscle aches, and they’ll usually occur. within 1-2 weeks after a tick bite.
- Babesiosis – most severely affects the elderly, the immunocompromised, or the asplenic (those with no spleen, or whose spleen isn’t functional), and it’s difficult to diagnose, since patients exhibit few, if any symptoms to suggest the disease.
So, to make sure you protect yourself and your loved ones (and your outdoor living spaces, too), it’s important for you to do everything you can to limit the tick population on your property.
And, since New Jersey has the dubious honor of ranking 4th in the country for ‘the most reported cases of Lyme Disease,’ it puts all of us New Jersey-ites at greater than average risk.
Protect Yourself from Ticks
Knowing how to protect yourself and your loved ones is what will make the difference between tick bites and a tick-free season.
Here are a few things you can do to make your property a ‘tick-free zone’…
- Mow your lawn regularly (since ticks like to hide in tall grass)
- Rake & remove, grass clippings & leaves
- Keep the ground cover trimmed along your walkways, around your patio, deck(s), etc.
- Build stone walls and wood piles as far away from your home as possible (since rodents live in these areas and they can host ticks)
- Locate kids’s play areas and equipment in sunny areas away from woods & brush (ticks aren’t big fans of sunlight)
Consider fencing to keep the deer away from your property (deer can host ticks)
- Keep your outdoor pet areas clear of leaves and other debris (dogs can also host ticks, and as such, can carry them indoors)
- Keep your lawn & patio furniture away from woods, shrubs, and undergrowth
- When in wooded areas, walk in the middle of trails and avoid sitting on logs or leaning against trees
- Wear a hat (and if you have longer hair, if possible tuck it in under the hat)
- When weather permits, wear snug-at-the-wrist long-sleeved shirts, and long pants tucked into the tops of your high top socks
- Don’t wear sandals, open-toed shoes, or go bare foot in areas more prone to tick infestation
- Use insect repellents containing 20-30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), and follow the manufacturer’s recommended application and reapplication directions
- Wear light colored clothing (it’s easier to see ticks that have dropped onto you)
- Check for ticks daily. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends checking under your arms, in and around your ears, inside your belly button, behind your knees, between your legs, around your waist, and most importantly in your hair and around your hair line
- After being outside, check your gear and clothing before going into your home, then to be safe, run your clothes through a high heat cycle in your dryer
- Shower as soon as possible after being outdoors.
The Bottom Line on South Jersey Ticks
Ticks typically feed on blood they draw from rodents, mice, birds, deer, rabbits, dogs, etc. – but they’ll settle for your blood or your loved ones) if given the chance.
But, if you take the preventative measures listed above, you’ll be much less likely to have a run-in with these little blood suckers and their potential health risks.
Note: If you follow and complete the steps listed above, but your tick problems seem to persist, be sure to call a local pest control company (like TermiGuard Services) to get the scoop on their tick and other pest control programs, and how they can benefit you, your loved ones and your outdoor living space.
As always, we’re dedicated to providing you healthier living. Contact us today!