The simple mention of the word tick makes people well, tick. They are annoying, infuriating and unfortunately, everywhere. However, the simple act of taking the time to be educated about tick prevention in Missouri pays off. The season for ticks is ripe, and the eye for pest control has to be sharp! At Rottler we encourage homeowners to implement preventative measures in and around the home that prevent pest activity and with that in mind, here are a few suggestions on how you can make your property a “No Tick Zone.”
First off, there are many different types of ticks to be found in the St. Louis area. In Missouri, there are three distinct species of ticks to be on the lookout for. The American dog tick is very common in Missouri and throughout the United States. This species of tick is often carries Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can be deadly if it goes untreated. The lonestar tick is also quite prevalent, and can be quickly distinguished by the single white spot on its back. There is some deliberation that lonestar ticks may carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but it is more commonly known for a bacterial disease known as Ehrilichiosis. Another species of tick in Missouri, the deer tick, is a distinct carrier of Lyme disease and poses serious health threats to humans. This disease often shows up at first as flu-like symptoms as well as an inflamed bite area. In St. Louis, ticks are most common from the late spring to early fall and are usually outdoors, but can be transported inside on pets or humans.
In order to make sure you are not carrying ticks into your home it is important to keep them out of the area surrounding your house. This means making your property undesirable for the ticks to inhabit. Think of it like removing the triggers that keep the tick active. (If they can’t thrive they won’t be alive!)
Ticks don’t like to be in the open. The best way to control ticks is to remove high grass, weeds, leaf litter and undergrowth from around your home.
Keep your lawn well mowed below 3 inches to reduce humidity and habitable conditions for ticks. The shorter and more open your lawn is, the less ticks there will be.
Garbage should also be kept in tightly sealed containers to prevent intrusions. Although ticks feed on blood, wildlife that may host them are attracted to trash.
Pet food should not be left outside.
Reduce deer feed, as a tick can be transported on deer or other animals. So make sure that your lawn is free of vegetation that deer would want to eat (such as azaleas, rhododendrons, arborvitae and crabapple) and increase the plants that they don’t like (such as Colorado blue spruce, Scotch pine, boxwood, daffodils and marigolds).
Fence in your lawn. Reduce the amount of traffic of animals that could be carrying ticks into your “No Tick Zone.”
Keep patio furniture out of vegetation. The closer you are to areas of moisture or non-open lawn, the higher your risk for contracting a tick is.
Professional treatment. If ticks are already a problem on your property, consider contacting a professional for tick control. While there are do-it-yourself methods available on the market, they may not be effective or if used improperly could be a risk to people and pets.
Here at Rottler, our goal is to provide useful and approachable solutions to everyday pest problems. Our hope is to assist you in creating a safe environment for you and your family. For more information on our pest and tick control in St. Louis or throughout Mid-Missouri, do not hesitate to contact our pest pros as soon as possible!