Yay - Spring is here! After a long, cold Winter, it's nice to finally spend some time outside. When the weather is so nice, what is there to worry about?
Oh yes.... ticks.
The onset of Spring in many parts of Canada means the ticks are ready to come out and prey. Ticks remain active as long as the weather is above freezing, but once the ground is frozen, they will go into dormancy or hibernation (just like a lot of us do during Canadian winters!)
Spring = Tick Season
As we've mentioned, ticks are active all year round, but are most common in Spring and Fall. Ticks will begin biting as soon as temperatures are consistently above 7 degrees.
Once better weather hits, so do the ticks. Right now, ticks across the country are gearing up for the first blood meal, which is required for them to stay alive and keep their clock ticking.
How To Prepare Your Property
Thankfully, there a number of preventative measures you can take to help minimize the risks of ticks around your home. Here's how to prep your property;
- Keep tall grasses mowed
- Keep vegetation trimmed
- Get rid of any leaf litter or weeds at the edge of your lawn
- Remove brush and leaves around stone walls or wood piles
- Move wood piles away from the house
- Keep your pets and kids out of the woods to avoid bringing ticks back to your home
- Move kids swings or sandboxes away from the woodland edge
- Wash clothes in hot water if you've just come back from a tick-ridden area
- Use a professional tick control service to eliminate the risk of ticks
How To Avoid Tick Bites
The last thing you want is to get bitten by ticks - ticks are notorious for spreading Lyme Disease, which can lead to long term health issues. Here's what you can do to avoid getting a dreaded tick bite;
- Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or permetherin. Added bonus: you'll repel mosquitoes, too!
- Wear closed-toe shoes and long-sleeved clothing
- Tuck your pants into your socks. You'll look a bit ridiculous, but it works!
- Wear light coloured clothing to help you spot potential ticks easier
- Wash yourself as soon as you get home to get rid of any loose ticks
- Do a full body check on yourself, your kids, or your pets if you've come back from a tick prone area