YOU can help REDUCE ticks in your yard!
Know where to find ticks. Ticks do not fly or jump. Instead, they hang out on shrubs, bushes and tall grass waiting for hosts to brush against the vegetation, so the tick can hitch a ride.
- Wooded areas are often dense with ticks. Regularly clean up any lawn debris, such as piles of brush and leaves, since they can provide shelter for potential tick host animals. The host animal passes the disease to the ticks, so keeping wildlife out of your yard will cut back on infected ticks.
- Keep the grass mowed and trimmed short.
- Keep playground equipment, decks and patios away from yard edges and trees. Place playground equipment in a sunny location (if possible).
- Pay special attention to the edges of your property, especially if you live near wooded or highly vegetated areas. Keep ditches cleaned out and trim plants along edges to prevent them from hanging over into your property.
- Alternately, you can create a barrier with woodchips, gravel, or other materials on the edges of your property.
Tips to Help Avoid Bites
The best way to avoid a tick bite is by being cautious and knowledgeable of ticks by using these simple suggestions:
- Avoid tall grass, wooded and brushy areas with lots of leaf litter. Stay close to the centre of paths and hiking trails when possible, to avoid brushing against foliage containing ticks.
- Wear protective clothing that covers all skin; including enclosed shoes, long sleeve shirts, pants, and tuck your clothes all in to ensure the ticks cannot find a way onto the skin;
- Wear insect repellant containing DEET or Icaradin as approved by Health Canada. Note: You can apply the insect repellent to both clothing and under the clothing to ensure the entire body is covered.
Recognizing and Removing Ticks
If you discover a tick on your clothing and skin, it is important to remove the tick as soon as possible. There are several tick removal tools available to purchase but using a fine tipped tweezer can be just as effective. DO NOT use nail polish, petroleum jelly, or heat to remove the tick. This can aggravate the tick which can result in it burrowing deeper into the skin.
With tweezers, grasp the tick’s head as close to the skin as possible. Pull slowly upward with steady, even pressure until the tick is removed. DO NOT rotate the tick. After removing the tick, wash the site of attachment with soap and water, or disinfect with alcohol or household antiseptic. Infected ticks need to be embedded in skin for 24 to 36 hours before they transmit the disease to a person/pet.
- Do full body checks daily on all adults, children, and pets.
- Look for ticks on clothing. Note: light clothing makes the ticks more noticeable to detect
- Ensure you check hard to see areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp.
- Shower or bathe as soon as you come inside, preferably within two hours.
- Put clothes in dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothes.
- If clothes are wet when you come inside, wash them in hot water and then dry on high heat.
- If the clothes cannot be washed in hot water, then tumble dry on low heat for 90 minutes or high heat for 60 minutes.
For more information and our source visit the GNB website at: www.gnb.ca/ticksmart