Researchers at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station recently released that they are anticipating higher than usual populations of ticks this year due to the protection provided by this year’s frequent snow cover. While ticks are usually not active when there is snow on the ground, it provided excellent cover and protection for them to overwinter.
Ticks are arthropods that feed on the blood of mammals. Throughout their life cycles they can be found on a variety of hosts, including mice, deer, dogs, and humans. This causes concern because as ticks feed on a variety of hosts, it increases the likelihood that they will contract and spread a variety of tick-borne diseases, most notably Lyme disease which is common in our area.
Despite how common ticks are in New England, they can be controlled. There is an abundance of research available today that helps us identify areas where ticks are most likely to populate. There are a range of methods that we use to reduce their populations in the landscape.
At ArborTech, we utilize the following strategies to create tick safe landscapes:
Perimeter Tick Treatments: Research shows that ticks are most abundant in residential landscape, in the transition areas from turf to the wood line. Perimeter tick treatments target these areas to provide an invisible barrier. When ticks cross this barrier, they die. A variety of environmental friendly products, including certified organic materials, are applied by our trained applicator to help prevent ticks from crossing into your landscape.
Tick Habitat Management: Ticks thrive in areas that are protected from sunlight and where there is dense vegetative cover. Reducing dense vegetation and leaf cover along the perimeter of your landscape can help reduce a tick’s ability to travel from the woods into your yard. Ticks dry out and die in direct sunlight, so habitat management allows sunlight to penetrate the understory. Pushing leaves and other organic matter back into the woods reduces a tick’s ability to take cover when exposed to sun.
Invasive Vegetative Species Management: Several invasive plants such as multiflora rose and Japanese Barberry have been tied to higher occurrences of ticks. Removing these plants from the areas around your home help reduce tick populations.
Tick Host Management: Ticks move from host to host as they mature. In the woods, ticks prefer mice and deer hosts. Treatments are available that reduce tick populations on mice in your yard by providing treated material for them to bring back to their nests killing ticks before they mature. Deer, carrying ticks, can also be discouraged from crossing into your yard through the use of deer repellants.
Your ArborTech Arborist can identify areas where ticks may live on your property and develop an Integrated Tick Management Plan for your unique landscape. Give us a call at (413) 525-0060 or contact us through our website.