Ticks and tick bites aren't restricted to woodland walks and camping adventures. The truth behind these pests strikes closer to home. You and your family are most likely to contract common tick-related diseases from ticks encountered in your own lawn and garden.1 Understanding the answers to these common tick questions can help you protect your family:
Depending on where you live, common ticks in your area may stay active year-round. However, tick activity generally kicks into high gear from April through September. It increases as weather warms — and people and animals become more active outside, too.
Immature, pinhead-size ticks called “nymphs" are responsible for approximately 98 percent of all tick bites. Nymph activity — and the transmission of tick-related diseases such as Lyme disease — tends to peak from May through July.1
It may seem as though ticks drop down from tree branches, because they're often found hidden in hair. However, they actually start closer to the ground. Favorite hiding spots include naturalized or unmown areas with weeds and tall grasses, especially when they're humid and shady. When lawns are nearby, ticks move into mowed areas, too. However, more than 80 percent stay in the lawn's outer 9 feet. Low-lying ground covers and low-hanging shrubs in gardens or foundation plantings are also prime spots for ticks.
Ticks typically move onto humans or animals that brush against grasses or weeds when passing by. Then ticks climb upward and find a spot to bite and feed. An estimated 75 percent of tick bites occur from ticks picked up during normal home activities such as gardening, backyard play or entertaining.1
Tick problems don't go away on their own — they multiply. Ticks that carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease typically lay eggs in batches of 3,000 or more. Some types of ticks lay up to 15,000 eggs before they die.1 Untreated ticks may live for several years, and some types can even live indoors.
No U.S. region is free from the threat of ticks and tick-transmitted disease. Across the country, tick populations and diseases are on the rise.2 Reactions to tick bites range from mild itching to serious, even deadly conditions, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, tick-induced paralysis and Powassan virus.3
Take steps against ticks by making your lawn and garden less attractive to these pests. Keep areas free of tall grass, weeds and garden debris – you'll also discourage small rodents, which transport ticks. Place outdoor play and entertainment areas in sunny, airy spots, away from tick-prone zones. Most importantly, eliminate existing ticks and create a perimeter of protection around your home with effective tick control treatment.
With GardenTech® Sevin® brand products, you can kill and control ticks and dozens of other unwelcome insects, even among favorite fruits and vegetables and landscapes where edibles and ornamentals mix. Target larvae and nymphs with late spring and early summer applications. Target adult ticks in late summer and fall. It's simple to choose the product that's right for you:
Whether it's the height of tick season or you're keeping pests at bay year-round, rest easy with Sevin® garden insecticides. Gardeners have trusted the brand for more than 50 years. GardenTech and the GardenTech® family of brands are here to help you learn and grow. Stay connected, and let the GardenTech blog and email newsletter help you explore gardening and the joys of outdoor life.
Always read product labels thoroughly and follow instructions carefully, including guidelines for pre-harvest intervals (PHI) on edible crops.
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1. K.C. Stafford, “Tick Management Handbook," The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 2007.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Reported Cases of Lyme Disease by Year, United States, 1995-2015," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Tickborne Diseases of the United States," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017.