Because ticks are most active in the warm months, Greenville residents should step up their precautions as summer approaches. Ticks go through four stages of their life cycle. With each stage they need to feed on the blood of a different host animal; this could be you or your pet. Ticks move along the ground or move to grassy or leafy areas, where they hide until a host comes along. Once they jump onto the host, perhaps your cat or dog, they’ll latch on and feed until they’re full, which could be days.
While ticks are always active in the summer, a wet summer can result in a larger thriving tick population. We’ve had an unusually wet year in South Carolina, so don’t be surprised if you see more ticks than usual.
Aside from the general ‘ickiness’ of a parasite that jumps on you and drinks your blood, ticks are unwelcome because they are associated with several serious diseases. Depending upon the species of tick, it can carry diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and of most recent concern, a disease called STARI, short for southern tick-associated rash illness, which can lead to an allergy to red meat. It’s smart to take every step you can to prevent ticks from making life difficult for you, your family and your pets.
Protect your pets
- Ask your veterinarian about the best preventative steps for your cats and dogs.
- Check your pets for ticks every time they come back indoors. Be sure to check areas such behind the ears and between the legs.
- Bathe dogs regularly.
- Consider creating a fenced-in area for your dog. The fence will keep out wild animals that could be carrying ticks, so your dog is less likely to be exposed.
Protect yourself and your family
- Wear long sleeves and long pants when out in long grass or wooded areas, whether you’re doing yard work or taking a hike.
- Use an insect repellent that contains DEET when outdoors.
- Check yourself and your children for ticks after spending time outdoors.
- Seal cracks and openings in the house foundation and around windows and doors to prevent rodents from entering and bringing in ticks with them.
- Cut tall grass and weeds to reduce tick hiding places.
- Trim overhanging branches that make your yard overly shady and that provide areas where ticks can hide.
- Remove litter and move woodpiles away from the house.
- Get rid of any standing water in your yard by emptying items such as the saucers under plants, buckets, birdbaths, and children’s toys. Turn over or put away things that can collect water when they aren’t in use
DIY steps can only be semi-effective. To truly stop worrying about ticks, ask Spencer Pest Control about our Outdoor Living Package. This package targets all the pests that can ruin the summer enjoyment of your property, including ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and fire ants. Call us today to get the details about our Outdoor Living Package.