May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month

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While warmer weather and increased outdoor activities finds more Americans outside, it also puts them at greater risk for encountering ticks and contracting Lyme disease. May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month and your Saratoga pest professional has tips to help homeowners tick-proof their yards and outdoor spaces.

Reported cases of Lyme disease continue to rise with more than 280,000 Americans being diagnosed since 2002, with an additional 30,000 diagnoses just last year. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An illness that can have lifelong debilitating effects such as arthritis, fatigue and even neurological deficits, Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged or deer ticks.

After spending time outdoors it is imperative to do tick checks on yourself and your pets. While not all ticks spread Lyme disease, there are several other illnesses that ticks transmit to humans.

How can you reduce your risk against ticks?

  • Clear out. Reduce your tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic. Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don't position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas.
  • Clean. Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep your lawn short.
  • Choose plants. Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and wildlife and/or install physical barriers to keep them out of your yard. Check with your local nursery to determine the best choices for your area.
  • Check hiding places. Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places.
  • Care for family pets. Family pets can suffer from tick-borne disease and also carry infected ticks into the home. Be sure to check your pets for ticks.
  • Protect your family. If you venture into tick territory, be sure to perform a tick check when returning. After spending times outdoors, inspect your body for ticks and in the coming days tick bites. If you find a tick, properly remove a tick with these tips.

Living in and around the Capital Region it is inevitable you will come across ticks. Unfortunately, keeping these insects away from your property is nearly impossible, but our pest management services can help. With simple precautions you can potentially avoid encounters with these biting insects. Thomas Pest Services, your Saratoga pest control experts can help reduce you and your families’ risk. If you live in Clifton Park or elsewhere in the Capital Region and need assistance getting rid of ticks , fill out our contact form today!

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