Long Island is a wonderful place to live, known for its natural beauty and abundance of beaches and parks. However, with this proximity to nature, there is an increased risk of tick bites and tickborne diseases.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. In honor of that, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get about ticks on Long Island.
There are three types of ticks commonly found on Long Island: blacklegged ticks (also known as Deer ticks), lone star ticks, and American dog ticks (or Wood ticks). All three are known vectors for a variety of diseases – with blacklegged and lone star ticks being carriers of Lyme disease.
Unfortunately, Lyme disease – characterized by a distinctive bullseye rash and flu-like symptoms – is carried by over half the ticks on Long Island. Lyme disease can be debilitating, with long-term health consequences.
A study by Columbia University, in partnership with the Cohen Lyme and Tickborne Disease Initiative, found that 56% of ticks on Long Island carry Lyme Disease. New York State, in general, is a hotspot for tickborne diseases.
Ticks are primarily an outdoor hazard, but they can enter and thrive in your home. Once inside, they may build nests and feed on you, your family, and your pets. To prevent such incursions, seal up any gaps or cracks where ticks could come inside your home.
Even more importantly, it is wise to implement a routine to follow every time you enter your home. Check all people and pets for ticks before and after coming indoors. This is especially important if you’ve been hiking, camping, or in any area with deer and, therefore, deer ticks. Use a tick-repellent spray or lotion when you plan to spend time outside and give your pets veterinarian-recommended tick preventatives.
One of the most effective ways to protect your home and family is to make your yard less attractive to ticks. Some simple landscaping changes can reduce your chances of encountering ticks in your yard
Mow your lawn often and clean up leaves (and trash) where ticks could hide. Clear away tall grasses and brush around your house and at the edges of your yard. If you have a fireplace, do not stack wood near your home – woodpiles attract the rodents on which ticks like to feed.
If possible, you should situate playground equipment, patios, and decks away from the edges of your yard and build them in a sunny location. A three-foot-wide barrier of gravel or wood chips around these structures will also deter tick incursions.
If you have taken steps to deter ticks around your home and yard but are still concerned about ticks, there are treatments to target the problem and provide you with peace of mind. At Fox Pest Control, we are experts at protecting your family from tick infestations. If you find evidence of ticks in your home or yard, reach out to our professionals to discuss your treatment options. To get started, contact us today.
*Call us today before 2 p.m. (Monday-Friday) for a same day, zero-obligation inspection and estimate or to provide Long Island pest control & extermination services near you.