Tis the season for ticks

Tue. May. 9, 2017

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Tis the season for ticks

I know, no one wants to hear that!  However, it also means warm weather, which means MOST of us want THAT!

My friends at the University Extension say “although it is difficult to make predictions on the severity of ticks in a given season, it does appear because of our mild winter, that we may experience a year of above average tick numbers. Yeah!  Deer ticks and wood ticks aka American dog ticks, are the most common, both of which are annoying blood sucking pests, however, the deer tick is a whole other issue as they’re a vector for Lyme Disease and other diseases.  Those links will take you to the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota, each with a lot more information.  And yet more information HERE for control.

deer tick bite

Both of these ticks are common in grassy fields and the underbrush.  Keeping them out of your yard can be challenging if your property is adjacent to natural habitat, keep the perimeter mowed. The good news is ticks aren’t too fond of lawns.

American dog tick aka wood tick

Of course the best defense is a good offense and that means, while trekking through tick town, wear light colored pants, tuck them into your socks and use DEET for your skin and clothes and Permethrin for your clothing only.  It’s a good look!  And don’t forget tick check!

If even thinking about ticks gives you the creepy crawlies, remember this: The superstition that these ticks crawl up trees and drop down on humans and animals is not true.

You may have heard of Tick tubes and tick boxes sold for blacklegged (deer) tick control. Mice enter the tubes/boxes and take insecticide-impregnated cotton back to their burrows as nesting material. The insecticide kills ticks on the mice. Research has shown tick numbers are reduced, but it hasn’t really shown any significant decrease in ticks.