It is already mid-October and we are still in the grips of summer it seems. While to many this may be a time to rejoice, there are some downsides to this warm fall (and not just to those who are eager to break out their fall boots and sweaters). The warm weather also extends the tick season.
Tick populations tend to explode in seasons following mild winters when long stretches of freezing temperatures are not able to help cull the population. Additionally, small animals and deer are more likely to survive a mild winter, creating the perfect mode of transportation for these disease-carrying pests to get into your yard and pose a threat to your family and pets.
The deer tick is known to transmit Lyme disease, as well as the Powassan virus, and other serious illnesses. To avoid tick bites, hunters and others who work or play outdoors need to continue being vigilant until freezing weather sets in.
Avoiding ticks is the first order of business. Ticks like to hang out in tall brush and grass; they also love to hitch rides on pets. Until real winter gets here, pets should be treated regularly with a systemic anti-tick product so they don’t bring deer ticks into the home. Talk to your vet about recommendations for treatments, and about getting your pets vaccinated against Lyme. Sadly, there is no human vaccine at the moment.
A good way to keep ticks away is to clear brush, weeds, and tall grass from the edges of your yard. If you spray for ticks, don’t stop in the summer, make sure you schedule regular sprayings until the first frost.