As the perfect New Jersey weather continues throughout the Fall, many families will be spending a lot of time outdoors. While ticks in NJ are most active in warmer months of April-September, it is a good idea to take preventive measures against ticks year-round. Just last month, an Oklahoma woman had all four limbs amputated after complications from a bacteria received from a tick bite.
While these cases are rare, it’s still important to protect yourself from tick bites. According to nj.gov it’s wise to perform routine tick checks to help prevent tick-borne diseases. They recommend you:
- Remove ticks from your clothes before going indoors.
- Wash your clothes with hot water and dry them using high heat for at least one hour.
- Perform a daily tick check after being outdoors. Inspect all parts of your body and your little ones, including your armpits, scalp, and groin.
If you do find a tick attached to you, a tick Research program in Freehold, NJ recommends removing it carefully with a pair of tweezers, being cautious not to leave pieces behind which would likely cause infection. They go on to advise that people who believe they have found a tick on themselves or their animal are encouraged to place the tick in a small container with moist cotton and send it to health officials for proper testing and identification. They believe practice will help them to understand the size of the tick population and the extent of infection is those ticks.
It’s also a good idea to call in a local company that specializes in tick population control. Last Bite Mosquito is a local, independent family-owned and operated business. Jason Julio, NJ native and cofounder of the business shares, “We started our company because we were searching for an alternative to the chemical tick and mosquito repellents we were spraying on our young children every time they went out to play.”
Jason’s brother and partner, Jeremy Julio, had to hospitalize his son after he was infected with MRSA that he contracted from an infected mosquito bite as a toddler. The brothers were also routinely finding ticks on their pets and they knew it was just a matter of time before one of their kids got a tick bite. They were uncomfortable spraying chemical repellents on their children so they began researching alternatives. They discovered that by treating the areas of the yard where ticks and mosquitoes live, they could significantly reduce their population. Because they couldn’t find companies providing this service in their area, they started their own business. They use an FDA-approved fine barrier spray on the perimeter of the yard and on any shrubs and foliage where tick carrying deer might feed in the yard.
Jason reminds us that New Jersey is one of the hotbeds for Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne illness in our area. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 95% of all Lyme disease cases come from 14 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States, including New Jersey. The effects of Lyme and other tick borne illnesses can be devastating and long-lasting if it’s not caught early.
Jason also suggests protecting your property, yourself and your kids from ticks:
- Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked. Avoid areas of high grass.
- Keep children’s playground equipment, as well as decks and patios, away from yard edges and trees. Place them in a sunny location where ticks have difficulty surviving.
- Plant deer-resistant landscaping and plants to avoid attracting deer to your yard.
- Treat the yard beginning in the spring with a tick pesticide to reduce the number of ticks.
- Wear light-colored clothing so ticks can be spotted more easily. If you see a tick on your clothing, run it through the dryer for one hour on high heat.
- Check pets carefully as they can carry ticks into the home.
Don’t let the fear of a tick borne disease affect your enjoyment of the beautiful New Jersey outdoors. Take the recommended measures for prevention and enjoy!