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Summer is here on the North Fork, and we’ve never been happier to spend the days outdoors. While it’s time to trade in the jeans and sneakers for shorts and sandals, there are a few things you need to know about keeping your family and pets safe from tiny, harmful predators — ticks. East End Tick and Mosquito Control has you covered with these three tips.
Protect Your Yard
Whether working in your summer garden or hosting an afternoon barbecue, there are plenty of occasions you will be spending time in your yard. Ticks thrive in warm, humid areas, making the East End a popular spot for these insects. They prefer wooded areas, leaves and shaded areas such as those near fences, sheds and other areas surrounding your yard. Keep these areas clean. Don’t let brush pile up throughout the year. Animals such as deer, birds and mice can carry ticks, so it’s important keep an environment that does not attract these animals by using fencing, limiting bird feeders and setting traps for rodents. Another way to keep your yard safe is low-toxicity tick spraying once per month.
Sometimes there’s no telling where your family pet has gone off to. They can spend hours playing in the yard. We want to keep our pets safe just as with every member of the family. Get in the habit of treating your pets once per month with a tick-repelling spot treatment, and searching them for ticks before they come back into the house. Run your fingers slowly over your pet’s body, and feel for any lumps where a tick may have burrowed in. While cats in particular are great for keeping rodents out of the yard, the rodents do tend to bring in ticks with them. Check around the paws, face and ears for these insects. If you spot a tick, quickly pull it off with a pair of tweezers. Save the tick and try to identify it as well.
The Lone Star Tick
There are three kinds of ticks that are most commonly found on Long Island, all of which can transmit disease; the deer tick, dog tick, and the lone star tick. The lone star tick is a very aggressive tick that can be found just about anywhere these days. The females are a tannish-red with a light colored spot on the center of their back that resembles a star, hence the name. While they have been suspected of transmitting Lyme disease, these ticks are known for southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI). After a bite, a circular rash may form that is similar to the rash of early Lyme disease. A bite from this tick may cause an allergy called Alpha-gal, which can cause an allergic reaction to meat and dairy. If you do spot this or any other tick, quickly and carefully remove it with a pair of sharp tweezers and identify it. If you experience any flu-like symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
Tick bites can cause a number of illnesses in people and their pets. Keeping your yard clean and free of wildlife, treating pets, and scanning yourself and family members for ticks after spending time outdoors can help prevent these bites and transmission of diseases. Spraying your yard is one of the most effective ways to prevent ticks on your property. Low-toxicity sprays keep your family and pets safe and control the problem at the source.
East End Tick and Mosquito Control can keep these pests away, and ensure your backyard is safe to enjoy all summer long.