Enjoy Your Summer by Avoiding Fleas & Ticks
Fleas and ticks are outdoor blood feeding insects that normally feed on wildlife like squirrels, skunks, raccoons and similar fur bearing animals. When these “normal” hosts become unavailable, or we enter the host’s environment (as when camping or hiking, or just being outside in our own yards) we may become the not-so-willing host and food source. The good news is there are steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk of flea and tick encounters.
To help reduce potential and real exposure to fleas:
- Avoid letting pets run free in woodland and un-landscaped areas with weeds. Keep pets in pet runs if necessary.
- Use on-animal treatment products for pets allowed off a leash outside.
- Eliminate outdoor rodents and wildlife living close to the home. Raccoons and other wildlife living under porches, decks and sheds can harbor flea populations.*
- Consider wearing insect repellent clothing treated with the active ingredient Permethrin when outside in flea habitats. Such clothing can be purchased at sporting goods store or can be treated with over-the-counter Permethrin based products.
- Consider having the yard treated for flea control.*
- If fleas are found infesting indoors, consider having the house treated.*
To help reduce potential and real exposure to ticks:
- Avoid walking or hiking off trails in woodland areas
Keep pets from walking off trails and in weed growth.
- Keep weeds and other wild growing, low vegetation away from the house and spaces used outside. Ticks like to be in weeds up to 24 inches and more to facilitate feeding.
- Wear white socks and tuck pant legs into the socks when outside in tick habitat.
- Eliminate leaf and pine needle litter on the ground. Ticks don’t like high heat and will dig down into leaf and pine litter for shelter during the heat of the day.
- Consider cutting tall vegetation and trees back to allow more sun and air into shaded areas.
- Place sand boxes, swing sets and other outdoor child play equipment away from shaded, cool areas preferred by ticks.
- Have the family (especially the kids) conduct tick checks on each other after being outside in tick habitat.
- Consider flea prevention tips 4 & 5 above.
- Take steps to keep squirrels, chipmunks. raccoons and deer away from your yard. High levels of wildlife close to the home increase the potential to encounter ticks that feed on these animals.*
- Consider having the yard treated for ticks.*
*Waltham Services has many years’ experience treating for fleas and ticks, as well as animal exclusion. Call your local Waltham Services for a no-obligation inspection and proposal.