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Where ticks hide in the cold

Tick Season Isn’t Over –Caution Still Needed

You might think it’s safe to stop worrying about ticks in winter. Not true!  You still need to be vigilant to protect your family and pets from illnesses spread by ticks.  
While summer is prime time, ticks unfortunately are still active in the Fall and Winter. According to a recent news article by Jerry Carino, Staff Writer on USA Today’s App.com: “You can get bitten by a tick year-round,” said Patricia Smith, president of the Wall-based Lyme Disease Association. “Unfortunately, now we know the ticks can be active when it’s above freezing.” 

Ticks continue to threaten pets and people even into the cooler months of Fall.It’s pretty much common knowledge that ticks are dangerous.  But, far worse than the bad rash and the pain of removing the tick, these nasty pests spread Lyme Disease, the deadly Powassan Virus, and other serious illnesses.

Our suburbs are a hot spot for Lyme Disease cases according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Unfortunately, the problem is getting worse as more cases are reported each year. Now, there’s a new threat, the Powassan Virus which is spread by infected ticks in as little as 15 minutes of the tick burrowing in the skin.

Find and remove ticks quickly before illness is spread

How to control ticks in the yard.

Tick Control: The best way to control ticks in your yard is to target where they live.  Black Legged Ticks aka Deer Ticks like the shade and seek protection from the sun in ground-level vegetation. Favorite hiding spots include high grasses, underbrush, shrubs, and wooded areas. Here’s what Giroud does to control this dangerous pest:

  1. Tick Risk Evaluation: Your Giroud Arborist will complete a risk assessment of your property to identify tick danger zones and develop a customized tick control program.
  2. Perimeter Clean-up: Ticks are shade lovers and can’t survive in the sun. The Giroud Team can eliminate shady tick habitats in two ways. First, cleaning up and/or clearing overgrown areas. Second, pruning tree branches and shrubs around the lawn edge to let in more sunlight.
  3. Deer Repellent: Deer are the primary carrier of ticks to your property. Our Deer Repellant service is safe, water-resistant, and will deter deer from feeding on your valuable plants!
  4. 100% Organic Tick Control Treatments: Giroud’s specially licensed applicators will treat around the perimeter of your property and other high-risk areas. Our 100% organic treatment is made from essential oils including Peppermint and Cedar oils which are natural tick repellent.  Traditional tick control treatments are also available.
  5. Plant Selection: We will identify plants that are attracting deer to your yard and suggest alternative plants. HGTV provides a list of plants that are repellent to deer. 

Rake up leaves in fall to deter ticks

How to Check for Ticks

Checking for Ticks: Even with tick control in the yard, it’s still important to check family members and pets after any outdoor excursion.  To find ticks on the body, the CDC recommends:

  1. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
  2. Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.
  3. Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and day packs.

How to Remove a Tick

Tick Removal: If you find a tick attached to your skin, University of Manitoba tick expert Kateryn Rochon, created a video to show how to remove a tick with tweezers.

The CDC suggests the following steps to remove a tick:

1.    Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
2.    Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
3.    After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
4.    Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.
   The CDC cautions to: avoid folklore remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible–not waiting for it to detach.


Now that the Fall season is at the doorstep, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that ticks are no longer a concern.  Stay alert and follow Giroud Tree and Lawn’s 3 Steps to Tick Control and Safety by controlling ticks in the yard, checking for ticks after every outdoor activity and quickly removing ticks to prevent becoming infected with a dangerous illness like Lyme Disease or the Powassan Virus.

Want to get rid of ticks in your yard? Your Giroud ISA Certified Arborist will be happy to do a free tick risk assessment.


Author: Cindy Giroud

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