As we move through the gorgeous mild days of spring, most of us are spending more time outside. That’s a good thing, but we also need to be careful. At this time of year in the Mid-Atlantic, tick-borne illnesses are on people’s minds. Northern Virginia has become a Lyme Disease hotspot, and it’s something we need to take seriously. Fleas can also carry disease and create infestations in your home if a pet brings them in from outdoors. The best way to cover all your bases when it comes to flea and tick control is a three-pronged approach: treating your animals with help from your vet, taking care of any problems in your home with your pest control company, and treating your yard with your lawn care company.
Why Is Tick Prevention So Important?
Ticks are carriers for several diseases, but Lyme Disease is front and center from a public health standpoint. According to the Virginia Department of Health, it’s now the most common tick-borne disease in the state, with more than 1,000 confirmed cases in Virginia in 2018 and 600 probable cases. Lyme Disease is caused by a bacterium that lives in mammal hosts, including rodents and deer. It’s transmitted mainly by the blacklegged or deer tick. According to the Loudoun County Health Department, infections can occur at any time of year but are most common in the spring and summer months. Early symptoms include a rash and flu-like symptoms. If you don’t catch Lyme Disease early, you can develop more severe problems like nervous system disorders, heart problems, or joint pain, and swelling. Ticks can also spread dangerous illnesses like Tularemia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Keeping ticks away from people and pets is the best way to prevent tick-borne disease. We can do this by treating our dogs and cats, dressing appropriately for outdoor activities, using insect repellent as directed, and proactively treating our yard throughout the spring and summer.
How Can I Prevent Ticks and Fleas in My Yard?
Fleas and ticks love damp, overgrown, and messy spaces that provide opportunities for them to thrive and reproduce. These areas are also attractive to nuisance animals that act as vectors for infected ticks. Keeping your yard neat and clean, along with professional yard treatments, can go a long way in keeping ticks and fleas at bay. Here are some tips for keeping these potentially dangerous pests out of your yard:
- Clear tall grass and brush regularly. A big clean-up in early spring is highly effective.
- Mow frequently and keep the grass at recommended levels for every time of year.
- Install fencing to deter deer, rodents, and other vectors.
- Put a barrier like cedar mulch or pea gravel between your yard and wooded areas.
- Remove thatch from your yard.
- Clean up yard waste and clutter.
- Don’t overwater. Fleas and ticks thrive in damp environments.
- Talk with your lawn care company about professional lawn treatment for flea and tick prevention.
How Can Lawn Treatment Protect My Pets and Family?
Pest control companies do a great job of dealing with insects and other pests inside your home. In parallel, your lawn care company offers flea and tick treatments for your yard as the first line of defense against pests like fleas and ticks that thrive in outdoor environments. The goal is to keep them off pets and people and out of your home.
Epling Landscaping and Lawn Service offers a comprehensive tick and flea treatment for your yard as part of a complete lawn care program. Our professional team applies a liquid product to your lawn three times during the spring and summer months: with applications recommended in May, July, and September to fight fleas and ticks all summer long. Our experienced crew makes sure these safe and effective insecticides are correctly applied– at recommended levels and in the right places. We help clients avoid potentially dangerous DIY mistakes, including spreading too heavily or unevenly. As always, our goal is to help you get the most out of your outdoor spaces by making them beautiful, inviting, and safe for people and pets. Let’s talk now about how to keep your yard tidy and tick-free this summer.