Fall is a beautiful time in Michigan. The leaves begin to turn bright orange and red. The air is crisp, but not too cold. It’s a great time to be outdoors. If you’re planning on spending any time outside this fall, plan on looking for adult deer ticks.
Through October into mid-November adult ticks are still active. They are in search of a blood meal before winter arrives. Usually they prefer deer, but they’ll settle for humans if they have easy access. Unfortunately, adult deer ticks tend to carry disease organisms, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis or ehrlichiosis.
HERE’S SOME INFORMATION TO HELP PROTECT YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES!
Where do ticks live?
Leaf piles or litter, mulch piles, plant shoots, woodpiles, shrubs and weedy areas.
What’s the best way to control ticks?
Treating the perimeter of your yard will help prevent ticks from migrating across your lawn. Crashing the adult population now will help reduce the number of eggs, larvae and nymphs you see next year. If you’re seeing a lot of adult ticks around your property, you’re most likely going to be seeing a lot more in the spring.
If you live in an area with ticks, create a tick-safe zone around your home.
- Remove leaf litter, tall grasses, and brush around the home and at lawn edges.
- Separate lawn from surrounding wooded areas with a band of gravel or wood chips to limit tick migration.
- Keep the lawn mowed.
- Don’t place swing sets or outdoor living areas near surrounding woods.
How can I protect myself from ticks outside?
Before spending time outdoors, apply an insect repellent with DEET to clothes and exposed skin. Make sure to wear light-colored clothing so ticks are easy to spot. Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks to keep ticks outside clothing. Ticks aren’t picky, they’ll latch on anywhere.
If you have been in a tick-infested area, check for ticks, especially in skin folds (beneath arms, behind ears, groin area). Check your head and neckline as well. Wash clothing in hot water and dry for an hour at high heat to kill ticks that may be hiding in seams.
Don’t forget to check your furry companions for ticks after your adventures.
How should I remove a tick?
If you find a tick attached to you it should be removed promptly. Generally speaking, a tick transmits pathogens after 24 hours. Ticks should be removed with needle-nose pliers or a tick spoon. Firmly grasp the tick as close to the head as possible and pull straight upwards. Take care not to break the tick. Sanitize your tweezers or tick spoon and disinfect the area where the tick was attached.