Ahh Reisterstown. Home to gorgeous properties surrounded by woods and wildlife. These features are part of the reason it’s such a wonderful place to raise a family and spend quality time. Unfortunately, deer and field mice love the area too, which also increases the prevalence of decidedly less cute, more dangerous animals—ticks.
When conditions are right, as they are in Reisterstown, tick populations can grow out of control. Ticks live in tall grasses and brush, with most of them remaining in “transition areas” between woods and yards, and in rodent-prone places like woodpiles and sheds. Ticks stay in these particular places because they are prime spots to pick up their next meal, whether it’s a rat, a deer or a person. They can even come into your home on your pets’ fur or on clothing, so it’s important to keep a watchful eye out for these creepy crawlies.
Don’t Get Ticked Off
A tick bite isn’t pleasant at the best of times, but the real danger is contracting Lyme disease. Contrary to popular belief, Lyme disease does not occur nationwide and is heavily concentrated in Maryland and our surrounding states. Lyme disease symptoms usually appear 1-2 weeks after a bite. If left untreated, the disease can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system. Watch out for a telltale bulls-eye rash, fever, muscle and joint pain, and unusual fatigue, especially if you know you’ve been bitten by a tick. If caught and diagnosed, the illness can be treated with antibiotics, but in some cases, it can take months for patients to feel well again, so prevention is the easiest and best course of action.
There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and your family from ticks:
- Regularly trim grass and brush
- Place playground equipment away from “transition areas” between your yard and the woods, and avoid playing or sitting in these areas
- Walk in the center of trails when hiking and try to avoid brushy areas
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and tuck pants into socks
- Repel ticks with a DEET or Permethrin spray
- Do a full inspection for ticks after being in a tick-infested area; taking a shower as soon as possible after returning indoors is a good way to make sure you’ve spotted any ticks crawling under your clothes.
- Inspect all items after hiking or playing near high-tick areas including camping gear, coats and day packs; ticks can affix to an object and attach to a person later, so this is a crucial step in preventing Lyme disease.
- You can also place clothes and other items in a clothes dryer on maximum heat for an hour to kill any ticks that made it past your inspection.
While it’s a good idea to take these precautions year-round, you should be extra cautious during warmer months when ticks are most active.
The Clock is Ticking
You really can’t be too careful when dealing with ticks and Lyme disease. In addition to taking all the precautions we mentioned, many of our Reisterstown clients and those with wooded areas on their properties sign up for our ongoing tick protection program. This package covers three targeted treatments per year when ticks are most active. By drawing on our years of experience protecting families from ticks, we pinpoint our treatment strategies so our customers get maximum tick reduction without being exposed to unnecessary pesticides and over-applied, dangerous chemicals.
If you want to spend the spring and summer in your yard without worrying about the hazards of ticks, give the Brody Brothers a call. Your personal technician will work with you to to dramatically reduce the pest population in and around your home, whether you’re worried about ticks, other insects, rodents, wildlife or all of the above.