November 21, 2018
It’s normal to think that once summer ends, we can let down our guard about certain things. For instance, we might become a bit lax in our application of sunscreen once the weather isn’t quite so hot, even though it’s just as possible to get sunburnt in the fall as it is in the summer. Similarly, we often think that many of the insects that are most active in Houston in summer are no longer a threat in the fall. Unfortunately, that is just not the case
One pest that we must be on guard against well into fall are ticks. While ticks will stop activity at some point if the weather gets cold enough, they remain active in temperatures that are lower than you might expect, making fall a time of year when they might catch you unaware.
It’s not enough just to know that ticks are still active in the fall. You also need to know how they’re getting into your yard, where they’re likely to be in your yard, and what you can do about them.
The main way ticks get into your yard is by riding in on wildlife. Ticks need blood meals in order to survive and move from one stage of development to the next. They’ll often feed on mice or other rodents, raccoons, deer, and more, then drop off those animals when their meal is complete. If that happens to be when those animals are in your yard, then you’ll find yourself with ticks on your property that could be picked up by you, a family member, or a pet.
Adding to this problem is the fact that wildlife is usually looking for warm shelter for the winter at this time of year, making it much more likely that they’ll be on your property.
Your best line of defense against ticks is to take steps to make your property uninviting to the wildlife that brings them there. There are several steps you can take in this regard.
- Maintain your lawn. Short grass and a lawn free of debris leaves very few hiding spots for wildlife.
- Put up a perimeter fence. While this won’t keep all wildlife out, it will help keep your pets out of the woods where ticks are likely to be found. Plus, ticks are often found in the transition areas between a lawn and a treeline, so separating them is a good idea.
- Do not leave food sources outside. Pet food should be kept inside. Bird feeders should be removed or kept far away from your home. Garbage should be tightly covered.
- Do not leave water sources outside. Remove pet dishes and bird baths. Fix areas where there is standing water. Keep gutters clear and working properly. Establish good drainage systems on your property.
- Keep pets up to date on tick treatments. While this doesn’t prevent wildlife from getting near your home, it will help keep your pets from bringing ticks into your home.
- Consider keeping landscaping elements away from your home. Ticks can often be found in tall grasses, leaf litter, and areas such as stone walls.
If you find that ticks are still presenting a problem on your property, Modern Pest Control can help. We can identify the areas where ticks are most likely to be and customize a plan for your specific needs to control the tick population. We can also identify areas of weakness when it comes to wildlife getting onto your property to help you combat your tick problem. Give us a call today to learn more about our residential pest control services.