Back in the spring, Clark, your neighborly pest control expert, shared statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the growing threat posed by vector-borne diseases carried by ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes.
According to the CDC report, the number of reported vector-borne disease cases has tripled over the last 13 years, with more than 640,000 Americans being infected with Lyme disease, West Nile virus, and Zika.
As we move into prime outdoor activity season – camping, hiking, trail-bike riding, horseback riding, fishing, working in the yard, and picnics – California and Nevada residents increase their likelihood of encountering fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks.
To reduce the threat of becoming one of the 300,000 persons who are diagnosed with tick-borne Lyme disease annually in the United States, Clark encourages outdoor enthusiasts to take the proper protective steps.
Though small in size, ticks bites can be quite dangerous. Ticks live in tall grass and wooded areas in yards, parks, and along hiking trails, waiting to grab onto passing hosts for feeding.
The northwestern California counties of Trinity, Humboldt, and Mendocino, as well as the northern Sierra-Nevada counties of Sierra and Nevada, have the highest occurrences of Lyme disease, according to the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources department. That said, all residents should be vigilant when participating in outdoor activities.
Clark recommends following this tick prevention checklist to lessen the threat of Lyme disease and other health threats associated with ticks:
- Always apply an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
- Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors. Choose light-colored clothing that will make it easier to spot ticks and other insects that have attached themselves to you.
- Keep grass cut low, as ticks are found in high grass. Remove weeds, woodpiles, and debris.
- Inspect yourself and your family members, as well as your pets, carefully for ticks after being outdoors. Ticks can hide in clothing and in the fur of your pets.
- Protect pets by reaching out to your local veterinarian. They usually offer a variety of products for protecting animals from tick-borne diseases.
- Place a barrier of wood chips or gravel between your lawn, patio, and play equipment, and any wooded areas. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.
If you need help with tick or flea control around your home, call California and Nevada’s trusted, friendly pest management professional, Clark, at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.